2018 Auditor General report handed over to Speaker

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Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland, Monday afternoon received the 2018 Auditor General Report.

It was presented at Public Buildings in Georgetown, the home of the National Assembly.

Auditor General Deodat Sharma said he hopes the report will be presented in the National Assembly as soon as possible.

“My report today presented to the Honourable Speaker will be laid in the National Assembly at the earliest opportunity at which time it becomes a public document,” he said.

Since December 21st, 2018, the Opposition has not attended a sitting and said it will not return to the National Assembly.

The Speaker said he has not received information relating to the next sitting of the National Assembly.

“I haven’t received information on that yet…if the Clerk of the National Assembly would have received such information then certainly he would have shared that information with me,” he told the media shortly after receiving the report.

The National Assembly comes out of recess on October 10 after a two-month recess.

Before it went into recess on August 10, the body last met on May 23.

However, since then, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has determined that the December 21st No-Confidence motion against the Government was validly passed.

Asked about the present status of the National Assembly, the House Speaker said “the National Assembly continues.”

The 2018 Auditor General report was handed over in the presence of some members of the Public Accounts Committee, namely Jermaine Figueira, Nigel Dharamlall and Bishop Juan Edghill.

Opposition Members of Parliament, Bishop Juan Edghill and Nigel Dharamlall

Speaking with the media after the event, Edghill said his party will not be returning to the National Assembly at the next sitting but he still believes the public should have access to the report since the Public Accounts Committee has noticed several anomalies in Government spending over the past three years.

“We’re making it very clear that as the Parliamentary Opposition, we don’t expect not being present in the National Assembly or not attending a sitting of the National Assembly or not having a sitting of the National Assembly would be the reason for (hiding) the content of this report,” he said.

Edghill suggested that a mechanism be put in place to ensure the contents of the report are made public to ensure transparency and accountability.

He also called on the Auditor General’s office to “step up its vigilance” of how state funds are spent to ensure that monies are not being misused for campaign financing.

The News Room was told by the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs that he is not aware of anything stopping the Assembly from meeting despite the CCJ ruling.

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