There’s both confusion and concern on the part of the Opposition regarding Speaker of the House of Representatives, Marissa Dalrymple-Philibert’s pronouncements on the tabling of reports from two of the country’s leading accountability bodies.
On Tuesday, the House Speaker outlined her position on documents presented to the Lower House from the Integrity Commission and the Auditor General’s Department.
In the first instance, the Opposition remains baffled by her utterances while questioning her motivations and understanding of the law in the other.
Ricardo Brooks tells us more.
At yesterday’s sitting of the House, Mrs Dalrymple-Philibert made it clear that documents from the two bodies would be handled differently going forward.
Section 73D of the House Standing Orders speaks to the role and functions of the Integrity Commission Oversight Committee.
It’s unclear how the Speaker’s interpretation of this section will affect the tabling of the reports.
However, Speaking with Nationwide News, Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Julian Robinson, noted with concern that reports from the Integrity Commission tabled in the Senate last week did not make it to the Lower House.
The Commission itself also took to social media yesterday, bringing to public attention that its annual report sent to Gordon House last Friday was not tabled in either chamber.
Nationwide News’ checks with the parliament did not reveal the rationale behind the decision, nor could we obtain clarity as to the speaker’s intentions.
However, on the matter of the Auditor General, House Speaker Dalrymple Philibert, says she believes reports regarding public bodies must be addressed by the minister with portfolio responsibility.
She told the Parliament yesterday that the minister must be given two months to do so before she can proceed to table the document.
This is in line with her interpretation of Section 30 of the Financial Administration and Audit Act.
However, Mr. Robinson believes her understanding of the law is flawed.
He awaits the opinion of the Attorney General on the issue.