Despite the progress made to improve
government transparency in recent years, primarily with the implementation of
the Freedom of Information Law, there is still resistance here to having the
business of government made public.
While some government entities have
embraced the Freedom of Information Law, others have not. Resistance to
willingly answer public records requests – and in some cases to comply with
directives of the Information Commissioner – by some government entities has
been well documented.
Beyond that, there is still the matter that
most statutory boards and committees here conduct their meetings privately. To
date, only two committees – the Finance Committee and the Public Accounts
Committee – have committed to holding their meetings in public.
However, the PAC has had its difficulties
over the years, including not dealing with matters in a timely manner,
cursorily rubber-stamping some auditor general’s reports and failing to get a
quorum for called meetings enough times that former Chairman Ezzard Miller
resigned in apparent protest.
Because of these issues, the PAC is less of
a relevant government body than it really should be.
New Chairman Moses Kirkconnell therefore
has a challenge on his hands as he tries to make the PAC truly relevant, while
at the same time keeping it transparent. We sincerely hope he’s up to the
challenge and we wish him the best of luck.