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Montserrat Legislative Assembly

Committees

Public Accounts Committee

The Public Accounts Committee scrutinises the value for money of public spending in Montserrat and holds the government to account on the delivery of government policy. In particular, it scrutinises the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the delivery of government services and the government’s stated policies. The Committee’s primary role is to look at how public money has been spent, rather than why, and does not examine the merits of Government policy.

The Committee scrutinises the government’s annual accounts and holds inquiries to investigate individual areas of public service delivery on behalf of the citizens of Montserrat. The Committee calls witnesses from the civil service and from outside government to gather information. Once the inquiry is concluded, the Committee provides recommendations to the government to improve public service delivery in the future.

Committee Members

The Public Accounts Committee scrutinises the value for money of public spending in Montserrat and holds the government to account on the delivery of government policy. In particular, it scrutinises the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the delivery of government services and the government’s stated policies. The Committee’s primary role is to look at how public money has been spent, rather than why, and does not examine the merits of Government policy.

PAUL LEWIS

Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Montserrat Legislative Assembly

CLAUDE HOGAN

Member of the Public Accounts Committee, Montserrat Legislative Assembly

VERONICA DORSETTE-HECTOR

Member of the Public Accounts Committee, Montserrat Legislative Assembly

JUDITH BAKER

Clerk to the Legislative Assembly and Public Accounts Committee, Montserrat Legislative Assembly

The Committees Inquiries

The Committee typically bases its inquiries on performance audits/value for money reports from the Office of the Auditor General. When selecting inquiries, the Committee also takes into account representations from the general public and community groups on issues of public spending that fall within the Committee’s remit.

Once the Committee has launched an inquiry, the Committee gathers information including by holding evidence sessions to gather information from invited witnesses. The PAC’s evidence sessions are open to the public and to the media, and are advertised openly to encourage attendance from across the community.

The PAC has held inquiries on the Outsourcing of Cleaning Services by Government, the Non-Use of a House Built by the Government in Davy Hill, and the State of the Social Security Accounts Fund. The Committee is expected to conduct inquiries on an ongoing basis.

The Committees Remit

The PAC is established by the Legislative Assembly. The Montserrat Constitution Order 2010, 63.—(1) provides that:

The Legislative Assembly shall establish at least two Standing Committees of the Assembly, each of which shall be charged with responsibility for monitoring the conduct of business of the Government for which responsibility has been assigned to a Minister under section38; and one such Committee shall be charged with responsibility for monitoring the public accounts and shall be called the Public Accounts Committee.

(2) Each Standing Committee shall consist of members of the Legislative Assembly who are not members of the Cabinet, and at least one Committee shall be presided over by a member of the Assembly in opposition to the Government (if there is any such member).

(3) Each Standing Committee shall have power—

(a) to summon any Minister, or any public officer of a department of government for which a Minister is responsible, to appear before it;

(b) subject to any law in force in Montserrat or to Standing Orders, to require any person so summoned to answer questions and provide information about the conduct of business of the Government by the Minister or department concerned.

(4) Each Standing Committee shall report on its activities to the Legislative Assembly as often as may be deemed necessary but at least annually.

(5) The Legislative Assembly shall publish reports submitted to it under subsection (4).

(6) Subject to this section, Standing Orders shall provide for the composition and functions of, and proceedings and conduct of business before, Standing Committees.