The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has not met since being reconstituted in July, but Leader of the Opposition and Chair of the PAC, Hon. Julian Fraser announced that a meeting will take place soon.
On 2 November during the Private Members section of the House of Assembly sitting Hon. Fraser announced: “We haven’t had the opportunity to meet as yet, but I certainly intend to call a meeting rather soon.”
The Leader of the Opposition did not state what date he was considering or how soon the meeting was going to be. “It depends on the calendar going forward; between now and December it might not be practical, but I intend to make sure that the Committee gets moving and be as vibrant as possible.”
“We have a Committee that comprise of two members of the Opposition and two members on the Government side. I expect everyone to participate and participate meaningfully in a nonbiased fashion. Of course, the Chairman might find it convenient to give a little direction that others might not like, but we will work things out. Together I am sure that’s something we can do easily,” he said.
Hon. Fraser disclosed that he recently attended a symposium that was organized by the International Center for Parliamentary Studies and during that event attendees were baffled that the BVI holds meetings of Committees such as the PAC in-camera. Hon. Fraser called for reform, and for the meetings of the PAC to be public: “I expect the support of this House when we start talking about making our Committee meetings available to the public,” he said.
“The media is supposed to be blaming a vital role in making sure that the information is disseminated. I am not in this business of being a malicious person Madame Speaker when it comes to the use of the Public Accounts Committee, I am simply here to make sure that the work or the business of the people is conducted most transparent and weighed,” he added.
The new PAC consists of Third District Representative, Hon. Fraser, First District Representative, Hon. Andrew Fahie, Eight District Representative, Hon. Marlon A. Penn; and Territorial At Large Representative, Hon. Archibald Christian.