Some 20 Public Accounts Committee meetings have been cancelled since January 25, 2021 says the main Parliamentary Opposition.

What is even more “astounding”, the Office of the Leader of the Opposition says, is that this trend persists into 2023, with eight cancellations already recorded and counting.

It noted that 16 of these cancellations have occurred since the change in the quorum requirement.

“The consistent absence of government members from PAC meetings, despite the need for two members from their side to establish a quorum, is a glaring display of incompetence on the part of the government,” the office said in a statement on Saturday.

The PAC explicitly mandates the presence of two government members, two opposition members, and the Chairman to carry out a legitimate meeting.

“In recent times, it has become the norm for the government side to be conveniently absent from these crucial gatherings, often citing emergencies as their justification. However, this excuse raises doubts about the authenticity of their claims and reveals either a lack of adequate planning, organization, and commitment to fulfilling their responsibilities or a deliberate attempt by the government to avoid being accountable for the nation’s money,” the office said.

It added that this recurring absence by the government side underscores a broader issue of “incompetence” within the current regime.

The opposition noted that Guyana has been plagued by a series of unfortunate events, however, the government’s inability to muster the presence of just two members for a significant PAC meeting “speaks volumes about their overall lack of competence or their deliberate attempt to avoid being accountable”.

It added that the absence of government members not only dismisses the importance of these meetings but also undermines the fundamental principles of good governance, that of accountability.

“When an entire government fails to fulfill the requirement of having two members present for a crucial PAC meeting, it is an unequivocal demonstration of incompetence and an unwillingness to be accountable. Such a failure reveals a disregard for prioritizing responsibilities, upholding democratic processes, and meeting their obligations to the public,” the opposition said.


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