The Public Accounts Committee is meeting with government departments to scrutinize budget allocations for the financial year 2019 – 2020.
The Appropriation Bill was referred to the Public Accounts Committee after the first reading last week and is expected back for the second and final reading on the 31st of July.
“It will be continuous for the whole week like we normally do and depending on the questions that we’ll ask but we’re always thorough with regards to the questions that we ask in trying to get clarification and to understand exactly how they come up with the numbers that they’ve got down on their budget so that’s where we are right now.” said the PAC Chairperson Florence Melekitama
The first department the Committee met with on Monday was the Premier’s Office.
“ Last year, we had a look at what was recommended in previous years and we’ve reflected that on the performance of each department and like any other normal process, we have recommendations last year and start this year, we reflected on the recommendations from last year and I’m glad to say with the first lot that we’ve had. The consultation with, the recommendation they have acknowledged that they’ve done as we’ve recommended. The hope is that with each department we go through, reflecting on the recommendations, we’ve hoped that they’ve made their changes well.”
“As the Chair, everybody was always given the opportunity to ask questions on what they don’t understand and the officials are always there to answer the questions. I’ve never had any problems with them answering the questions and if they do have any challenges with regards to what we’re asking , we give them time to find out and come back so that’s the normal process, so I’d say it is very transparent.” said Melekitama
Story by Sofaia Koroitanoa