Julius come to Work! Print
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Thursday, 26 September 2013 00:00

Hon. John Saldivar and Eddie Webster at PACThe Public Accounts Committee (PAC) began its work in earnest on Monday, September 23rd. After all the back and forth and the jumping up and down that Julius Espat was doing, the UDP members of the committee proved that the committee can actually do legitimate work. The first two days of meetings proved this.

With the guidance of Hon. John Saldivar who was selected as the Pro-tem Chairman of the committee, on Monday the Auditor General’s report for financial years 2003/2004 and 2004/2005 were discussed. Then on Wednesday the Auditor General’s report for year 1st April 2008 to 31st March 2009 were looked at. Based on the information that was presented by those interviewed there were quite a number of issues that have become evident. In the two days of discussions, it is clear that there are deficiencies in the system which need to be addressed. Among these deficiencies is the fact that proper inventories of government assets are not properly kept. Also, it appears that the Auditor General’s office is understaffed and is not properly prepared to handle the audits in the prescribed time frame that is given for these to be done. Another issue that came out is that at time the Auditor General does not have all the information which is required to conduct a proper audit of some government departments.

Hon. Saldivar says that so far the meetings have given the committee insight into the problem areas of conducting audits and the task of the committee is now to continue to probe and in the end identify deficiencies and find ways in which the system can be improved.

It is this kind of thinking that Julius Espat does not have the capacity to come up with. The whole idea that he had hatched up to change the PAC now seems to be evaporating into thin air as the committee is proving that very useful information can be obtained when the PAC actually works. Julius did not even give the PAC a chance to work before he deemed it useless. But there is great reason why he took this position, he simply did not want his misgivings when the PUP was in power to be brought up. He was afraid that his name would have been called up in the Auditor General’s reports, and at time it is but the PAC is bigger than that. The PAC is a mechanism by which misgivings he was involved in can be avoided in the future.