Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Moultrie Quashes Former Speaker’s Ruling. Power Is Restored to PAC

House Speaker and newly independent Member of Parliament Halson Moultrie returned to the House of Assembly on Wednesday after resigning from the Free National Movement. In the first session of the House, he restored power to the traditionally powerful Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Why it matters

Image result for plp house of assembly speaker kendal major
Former House Speaker and PLP MP Kendal Major

Moultrie’s actions canceled the ruling by the Former House Speaker and PLP Member Parliamentarian Dr. Kendal Major, who prevented the Public Accounts Committee from investigating a leaked audit report into Urban Renewal 2.0 in 2015. Once the Free National Movement came to power in 2017, it said the block by Major impedes the powers of the committee.

The big picture

Moultrie has long argued that the legislative branch needed independence as it was encroached upon by the executive branch of government.

And this is Moultrie’s way of making the parliament which is the legislative body, independent and democratic.

What are the powers restored to the PAC

The power to:

  • investigate all past, current and committed government expenditure
  • approve subjects and witnesses for examination and compel their attendance without government direction, intervention, or advice
  • make a recommendation and publish conclusions and reports
  • hold government accountable for its spending of taxpayers’ money and its stewardship over the public’s assets
  • televise hearings on the Parliamentary channel
  • probe matters
  • compel ministers to attend the Public Accounts Committee
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