NTUCB restate position on restructuring of the PAC

The National Trade Union Congress of Belize, the NTUCB have come out to restate their position on the restructuring of the PAC. On Wednesday, the committee wrote “There are several issues of significant concern to the NTUCB as related to the matter of the Public Accounts Committee. Firstly, in its present composition, the PAC does not truly reflect the Standing Orders. According to the Standing orders, “The Committee of Selection, in nominating members of a Standing Committee shall have regard to the composition of the House in order to ensure that the balance of parties in the House is reflected in the Committee.”  Secondly, referring Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the Cabinet’s joint statement that reforming the PAC would be expensive, the NTUCB argues “What amounts of money does it truly take for this Committee to execute its mandate? Exactly what elements of its functioning, within the scope of an adjusted structure, would render the proceedings if the Committee impractical? Only with disclosure of information to answer these questions can right minded Belizeans determine the accuracy and relevance of this claim.” And thirdly, the Government in its press release last week also made it clear that if a meeting of PAC is not called by the Chairman, PUP’s Julius Espat, then the Barrow Administration would convene the meeting, but not so fast says the NTUCB, they contest that the meeting cannot take place in the absence of the Chair. The organization says it  “strongly believes that even though the Standing orders may make provision in moving the PAC meeting forward without the Chairman, this would go against the very spirit and principles of the Standing orders i.e. – transparency, democracy and accountability.” The release concludes “In the past provisions were made for constitutional changes to accommodate the Nationalization of Companies as well as for making changes in the composition of the Senate. Oh yes, real precedence does exist to advance such a matter as is being proposed for PAC.” The Chambers of Commerce has also come forth a second time to publicly announce their support for the reform of the Public Accounts Committee.

 

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