Archive for March 26th, 2011

Mac denies LA rules violation

| 26/03/2011 | 23 Comments

(CNS): The disagreement between the country’s leader and the independent representative for North Side escalated further this weekend when the Premier’s Office issued a statement Friday from McKeeva Bush denying that he was in breach of Standing Orders over Finance Committee, as stated by Ezzard Miller on Monday. In response to an article posted on CNS and a statement released by the North Side MLA, who had pointed out that Finance Committee,of which the premier is chair, was one of several Legislative Assembly committees that had failed to meet in accordance with the House rules since the UDP came to office. Bush “categorically” stated that Finance Committee was not in violation of Standing Orders or the Constitution.

He said Miller was misquoting the provisions of the constitution and said the Finance
Committee had met three times since he became the chairman — on the 21st, 22nd and 24th of June 2010. These sittings related to appropriations for government’s budgets since taking office.

“Beyond a shadow of a doubt, since my chairmanship of Finance Committee began, the committee has satisfied the requirement of Standing Order 81 and of Section 83(2) of the Constitution and there has therefore been no violation of the Standing Orders or the Constitution by the Finance Committee," he said.

However, the committee has not met so far outside of the budget process. During recent PAC meetings staff from the Auditor General’s Office and senior staff from the treasury department, as well as Miller, have pointed to the need for Finance Committee to meet to reconcile extra executive spending among other things in the financial years since the UDP government came to office.

The premier said in his statement that he would be bringing the Appropriation (July2011 to June 2012) Bill — the government’s budget for the next financial year — along with the detailed budget documents to the Legislative Assembly in May. He said a Finance Committee meeting would automatically follow the debate and he would then seek approval for the emergency expenditure items that the Cabinet approved under Section 11(5) of the Public Management & Finance Law (2010 Revision).

“It is clear that Finance Committee meets when necessary and it deals with all business referred to the committee by the House or by the governor,” Bush claimed. “Sadly, it is obvious that the elected member for North Side is being mischievous and disingenuous when he says that Finance Committee is in violation of the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Orders and the constitution.”

The premier’s statement comes in the wake of comments made by Miller this week regarding his resignation from the PAC because of the failure of the members to turn up and do the work, preventing him from having a quorum. Miller also revealed that a number of other committees, including the committee which oversees the register of MLAs’ business interests and the committee that is supposed to examine the work of Office of the Complaints Commissioner, had not met in almost two years.

See premier’s full statement below.

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