Our cameras we not allowed inside the National Assembly during Wednesday’s PAC meeting. This comes after Prime Minister the Hon. Dean Barrow, and the Chairman of the PAC, Hon. Julius Espat, gave the green light for the gathering to be open to the public. So why wasn’t it? That’s what we tried to find out.
I don’t know who made the decision to announce that it was a public meeting. The meeting was a private meeting held in the Committee room.
The meetings hereafter will be [open to] the public and the media. This was just to set the framework of how we go forward.
But we weren’t the only ones who were restricted from entering the chambers, as other PUP House Representatives were also informed that they had to wait outside. Not having any of it, the Chairman took matters into his own hands and walked his colleagues into the meeting. He later expressed his displeasure regarding the turn of events.
As you have seen, even the Area Representatives, they had instructions given to the police officers to take them out. It was an erroneous instruction, because the Clerk does not understand this is the home of the Area Representatives. They have all the right to be in their home. So we made sure that they come in. The police officers were gracious, and they understood, and the Clerk said publicly that he was in error, by not allowing them in. That’s stage one. That the meeting was not to be held public, well this just goes to show you that what Cabinet says, and what the Prime Minister says, is a lie, has always been. He made a public statement on August the 31st that all meetings should be made public. What are they hiding? We don’t have nothing to hide. So, that was a major problem there.
On Wednesday, all indications were that future meetings will be public.