Parliament was dissolved last Friday without lawmakers being presented with audited statements of government accounts for any of its five-year life span.
Incumbent MP for Central Kingstown, St. Clair Leacock made that observation to lawmakers on Thursday, when Parliament last met.
His comments came as Deputy Prime Minister Sir Louis Straker laid before the house the report of the Director of Audit for 2014.
The report is an audit of government spending during the life of a parliament that ended in November 2015.
And, over the years, Leacock had been making the point that with audits six or seven years behind schedule, parliaments would be voted into and leave office without an audit of any one year of its five-year tenure.
Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, Leacock said:
“I wish, Mr. Speaker to point out that while we recognise the valuable work of the Director of Audit in having this 2014 report presented here, against the background that we have come to the end of this parliamentary life, it still represents a situation where we have no audits of this administration for 2015, 16, 17, 18, 19. We are, in fact, receiving reports of a previous government.”
Leacock said that it is urgent that going forward, Parliament commits to have audited reports for government during their periods of stewardship.
“And we must make a conscious effort to fast-track this process by at least three years.”
Leacock suggested that the next administration provide the office of the Director of Audit, with resources “for at least the year 2017 while they are catching up with , so that there is some accountability within the lifespan of a government.
“We cannot continue to function this way with an absence of accountability. It is urgent that a stand be taken on these reports,” he said.
Some people think that they are completely autonomous and they are not, and do not have to answer to anyone. Is this an Authoritarian country ?
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