Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee

The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Hon. Julius Espat and Committee Member the Hon. Kareem Musa condemn in no uncertain terms the non-appearance of the four UDP Ministers on the Committee at the session today, at which the Auditor-General would have been questioned about the many irregularities detailed in her 2012-2013 Report. It is no less than a clear disrespect of the proceedings, disregard for any oversight and it must be seen as an attempt to derail the session. It is also a grave disservice to the Belizean people because the irregularities which are to be discussed and debated by the P.A.C. involve abuses of the PEOPLE’S money by this current administration.

The Chairman condemns the duplicity of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who speaks out of two sides of his mouth. When questioned recently, the PM stated, “The Public Accounts Committee, the Chairman has already signaled, will be meeting shortly and will go through the report in a way that will see the public being able to follow along and to be educated as to what is exactly on the report and as to any possible explanations there might be. That is how it should be and that’s how it is.”

But after saying that, the decision was made by the four UDP Ministers on the Committee that the public would be locked out of the P.A.C. meetings. And now, the four UDP Ministers do not attend the meeting. Is the Prime Minister seeking to hide the corruption of his Ministers from the light of day? If so, it is an act of disrespect at the highest level of government, because the financial irregularities to be discussed involve the people’s money. If the Prime Minister has sanctioned the non-appearance of his four Ministers at the PAC meeting today, as he condones the actions of his UDP Ministers wherever corruption rears its ugly head, then he himself must be accused of corruption.

The Chairman reminds the Prime Minister and the members of his Cabinet that they serve at the whim of the Belizean people, and that they are all – even those who think they are above the law – answerable to the Belizean people yesterday, today and tomorrow.