FNM Government is a disappointment,
PAC dilemma shows FNM & PLP are one and the same,
Lacklustre PAC performance by FNM foreshadowed incompetent governance,
PLP PAC leader demonstrates same script different cast,
PAC must be strengthened to provide checks and balance.
The reported and intended resignation of the Hon. Reece Chipman, Member of Parliament for Centreville speaks volumes to the sub-standard level of governance that we the Bahamian people have unfortunately grown accustomed to and accepted to date.
Chipman’s letter to the House Speaker warning of his anticipated resignation from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) highlights the inactivity and lack of productivity of House Committees within the Parliament of The Bahamas. Even more glaring is the fact that the PAC is chaired by the Official Opposition and most of its members constitute the Committee.
The Bahamian people have seen this script before with a different cast. The now Minnis-led Free National Movement (FNM) chaired the PAC during its time as the Official Opposition from 2012 to 2017. Their dismal performance during that 5-year period is well documented and evidenced by the fact that under their watch, no report was produced by the PAC. In hindsight, the then FNM-constituted Official Opposition’s lack of leadership at the PAC was a precursor and harrowing foreshadow of their lacklustre governance to come. Sadly, the Bahamian people continue to be subjected to this subpar leadership as the current administration is taking our nation backwards.
It has been reported that the current FNM administration has conveniently refused requests for information made by the PAC based on an interpretation made by the House Speaker under the ousted Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) administration. This comes as a shock and disappointment to Bahamians who voted for the FNM in 2017 expecting good governance, transparency and accountability in relation to the use of taxpayer funds. Regrettably, both the PLP and FNM are one and the same as their actions demonstrate. They are two sides of the same coin. The level of incompetence and corrupt practices that we have been subjected to under their leadership has caused a regression in the good quality and standard of life that we as Bahamians have grown accustomed to.
As a qualified accountant and former President of the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA), Mr. Chipman understands what it means to subscribe to a code of ethics. We applaud Mr. Chipman for his strong ethical stance and for not turning a blind eye to wrongdoing. History will be kind to him, and future generations of Bahamians will salute him for his courage.
We implore the Minnis-led administration to move forward with the adoption of sound rules for our nation’s Parliament and to get on with the business of governing our nation in the transparent and accountable manner that they promised. The PAC must be immediately strengthened as a vital tool in a parliamentary democracy to serve as a much-needed check and balance on the financial activities of the government.
The DNA looks forward to the day when we shall bring good governance and prosperity to the people of this beloved Commonwealth that we call The Bahamas.
Geoffrey Deleveaux, Spokesperson for Good Governance
Democratic National Alliance