The Cayman Islands Public Accounts Committee meetings will remain open to the public.
New PAC Chairman Ezzard Miller said only in specific circumstances would meetings take place behind closed doors.
‘All the meetings will be public normally,’ he said. ‘In-camera meetings will only happen when we’re having a procedural meeting or if something is sub judice.’
In April 2008, former PAC Chairman Osbourne Bodden announced the committee’s meetings would be held in public for the first time in many years.
Shortly after that announcement, the PAC held open meetings to hear testimony on the auditor general’s report on the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal project. However, the PAC conducted no further public meetings after that through the time it was dissolved in March of this year, prior to the 20 May elections.
Mr. Miller met with the new PAC for the first time last Wednesday. Besides Mr. Miller, the PAC consists of United Democratic Party legislators Cline Glidden, Ellio Solomon, and Dwayne Seymour, and People’s Progressive Movement representative Moses Kirkconnell. Mr. Miller said the PAC will hold regular meetings on the last Wednesday of every month at 10am.
Auditor General Dan Duguay supports the decision to hold the meetings in public.
‘We’re very pleased about the Public Accounts Committee meetings being public,’ he said. ‘It’s something we’ve advocated for a while and it’s the trend in other places.’
Clearing the backlog
Mr. Miller acknowledged there are ten auditor general reports that remain outstanding for the PAC to review.
Besides holding regular monthly meetings, Mr. Miller said the Committee has agreed to put in the necessary time to clear the backlog of auditor general reports.
‘The Committee is committed to getting these 10 reports cleared up by the September sitting of the Legislative Assembly,’ he said. ‘We’ll have two prongs [of meetings]; one to deal with the backlog and another to deal with the current stuff.’
Mr. Miller said a press release would be issued next week identifying the blocks of time when the meetings to deal with the backlog would be held.
Mr. Duguay said he was encouraged by the way Mr. Miller was approaching his chairmanship of the PAC.
‘Of course, we want to get those reports done, so we’ll support him any way we can,’ he said. ‘I think it’s a very positive thing and I’m looking forward to working with him.’
Mr. Miller did not seem worried about ruffling any feathers with his approach.
‘I’m going to do the job the way I see fit,’ he said. ‘I’ve been given a job and I’m going to get it done.’