Government’s Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday (24 February) reviewed last year’s Auditor General’s report on the controversial Nation Building Fund with none of the fireworks that surrounded the original scathing audit of the $13 million given out in mostly untracked grants by former Premier McKeeva Bush.
PAC chairman and North Side MLA Ezzard Miller’s questions largely focused on why civil servants failed to insist on accountability before writing cheques for the fund between 2009 and 2013.
“How is it possible,” Mr. Miller asked, “that it was allowed to deteriorate over such an extended period of time?”
Deputy Governor (Hon.) Franz Manderson responded, “The short answer is that Civil Service didn’t do their jobs as effectively as they should have. Those persons are no longer in the service now.”
Mr. Manderson assured the committee that a Public Authorities Bill and a Procurement Bill would be sent to Cabinet in April in order to create a stronger fiscal framework for oversight of government spending programmes.
At the end of the hearing, Mr. Miller said he felt there was no need to rehash the original AG investigation and that with Government already taking action to change policies and procedures, the PAC review of the audit is complete.