House Speaker needs training on governance matters – Jagdeo

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Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland should be trained on matters related to governance in order to improve transparency in the National Assembly, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has suggested.

Particularly, he floated the idea of Dr Scotland being trained to understand issues regarding public expenditure.

Jagdeo hopes that by better comprehending the process, the Speaker will stop limiting parliamentarians from properly interrogating government officials on how taxpayers’ monies are being expended.

He told a news conference on Wednesday that in the case of the controversial drug bond, opposition parliamentarians are unable to hold Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence to her commitment in having the contract terminated.

“And if you ever try to interrogate her … our Speaker, he says: ‘stay relevant’. You can’t even digress because he doesn’t understand linkages between variables,” the Opposition Leader lamented.

Jagdeo said his proposal was made to a team from the Caribbean Development Bank (CBD) which is currently organizing a similar training for Members of Parliament (MPs) in Guyana.

The Opposition Leader added that another issue relating to the lack of transparency in the National Assembly is the unwillingness of government ministers to answer questions fully.

“We’d ask hundreds of questions and you get one line answers,” he expressed.

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