Let PAC scrutinise decisions as they are being made, say MLAs

THERE should be a mechanism for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to be able to scrutinise ongoing projects, not just historic ones, suggested two Members of Legislative Assembly at Thursday's meeting of the Assembly.

 

MLAs Leona Roberts and Teslyn Barkman made their comments in the light of the PAC report on the disastrous swimming pool maintenance project from seven  years ago (full report in PN July 12). MLA Barry Elsby noted the PAC recommendations at the meeting.MLA Leona Roberts said the report was "grim reading,"  highlighting as it did "so many significant failures "She expressed "a small degree of anger" at how the project was handled.She said, "what I find so frustrating is that I remember very clearly at the time of this project the concerns that were being expressed right across the community as it was underway; rumours of serious problems, corners being cut, poor management and unsound decision-making, but these were all swept aside with reassurances and promises that all would be well."She said the PAC, "should not just be restricted to projects upon their completion..." and should be able to scrutinise decisions, "as they were being made during the life of the project."MLA Barkman indicated she would be interested to see what kind of procedure could be set up to enable the scrutiny of decisions in the event of whistleblowing.