PAC drove progress, says AG

| 07/04/2011

(CNS): The auditor general says he has real concerns about the lack of leadership on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Alastair Swarbrick said that the public scrutiny which the committee gave to the situation on government accounts had acted as a driving force and without the public eye on those responsible he feared that a bad situation could get worse. Cayman’s public auditor said he believed that the public PAC meetings had been one of the main reasons behind what progress had been made in addressing the government’s financial reporting problem and without it things could slide again. He also confirmed that his own office could be left short of funds if a chair is not appointed and a meeting called by May.

The PAC is responsible for signing off the payments for the work of the auditor general and his office, and although he said the department had enough resources to cover the office’s needs for April, he was concerned about May and June. If no chair has been appointed, he would have to make enquiries about how else money could be released to his office.

However, he was more concerned about how the lack of scrutiny regarding his latest report on the progress of government financial reporting would affect those responsible for getting the financials up to date, he said.

“I believe we saw some traction with progress on the backlog of accounts because of the strong leadership from the PAC and the public exposure it offers,” Swarbrick said on Tuesday at a press conference releasing his latest report on the current state of government financial accountability. “The issues were discussed openly and if that is no longer there I am concerned that those responsible won’t be proactive about the need to address this issue because no one will be holding them to account in a public arena.”

Despite some progress on government financial reporting, Swarbrick said it was not as much as he had hoped, and even in the light of the enormous efforts being made, there was still a problem of leadership when it came to dealing with the outstanding accounts. The loss of the PAC chair, he said, would likely add to that problem.

The AG said he would also be releasing reports of two special performance audits, which he expected would be ready before the end of the financial year. The audits are related to the management of overseas medical payments and the procurement process. He said that while he would be able to make them public shortly after circulating them to members of the Legislative Assembly, the lack of a PAC would mean that those reports would not be subjected to the usual public examination by lawmakers.

Independent MLA Ezzard Miller resigned from the post of chair of the committee, which also included opposition member Moses Kirkconnell and three government members, Cline Glidden, Ellio Solomon and Dwayne Seymour, because of the failure of the government representatives to turn up.

According to the rules governing legislative committees, at least three members would have to be present before the chair could hold a meeting. Miller said that as the members persistently failed to attend his only conclusion was that they did not have faith in him as a chair and he had no other choice but to resign in order to throw light on the problem. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Politics

About the Author ()

Comments (9)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well it seems as though Mr. Miller did some good work here. Mac should appoint some additional members to ensure a quorum and ask Mr. Miller, very politely, to reconsider his position.

  2. Anonymous says:

    He also needs to address the PMFL training of civil servants and the way the PSML is interpreted and used since decentralizing of personnel functions. No two ministries use the PMFL and PSML alike.Where is the uniformity in government? When that is addressed then he can talk about accountability and efficiency.

    • Anonymous says:

      As far as personnel functions are concerned, these are very, very clearly set out in the personnel regulations. If there are differences in the way these are interpreted (especially by people with HR qualifications), it just goes to show how pathetic in terms of common sense and intellectual capacity is the quality of civil servants in our civil service. But then we knew that, didn’t we, Thu 10:27?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure when Mr. Duguay extended Mr. Swarbrick the best of luck at his inauguration, Mr. Swarbrick may not have been fully aware of the implication.

  4. concerned CAYMANIAN TO THE BONE says:


    I’m very amazed but not totally surprised that the Civil Service Association isn’t a little more concerned about its members reputation. It should be holding meeting to address this very critical issue of NON-PRODUCTION of financial information. This issue of non-accountability should be in the forefront of the CSA’s agenda. WHo would want to hire an ex-civil servant in their business when they were a piece of the mechinery that is wrecking this little country.

    My advice to the CO incharge of the country’s finances is (1) pull all your financial bodies into a meeting and get some clarity to their reasons for not being able to produce, (2) pull the resumes of these bodies and match up their skills with the level of their jobs, (3) go back to a centralized system of accounting, (4) write a CI Government accounting package, so that all government departments, agencies, companies and SA can follow, which is a standard for the OAG to follow when auditing and not leaving his office to determine what Accounting Standards to use, and (5) if all of the above fails, that officer must resign or be forced to take a lower position with a lower pay package cause it nah woking the this way.

  5. Anonymous says:

    He is doing something…letting us hang ourselves … and eventually justifying intervention similar to T&C or the forced separation of a embarrassing protectorate. 

  6. Little Bow Pep says:

    What’s the Governor doing about this situation? $69 million is a lot of money and no one is stepping up to account for this big sum. The UK must be called in to investigate. This is a very big scandle.

    • Anonymous says:

      the governor is probably busy picking out his tux for his next charity dinner or some important ribbon cutting ceremony….zzzzz