It seems many of our legislators would like to turn back the clock to a time when the public was kept in the dark about the workings of government, at least until such a time when the details were much less relevant.
During a Public Accounts Committee meeting this week, Premier McKeeva Bush and Bodden Town MLA Dwayne Seymour both suggested the Cayman Islands would be better off going back to a system where reports of the auditor general were not made public until the Public Accounts Committee did its own review of auditor general’s reports. Apparently, they aren’t alone in this belief.
Under that old system, there were times when auditor general’s reports weren’t released until years after they were completed, or, in some cases, never released at all.
The problem is that even with a bipartisan composition, the PAC is a highly political entity made up of the legislators themselves. As such, it is driven by political expediency and is used more as a political weapon rather than part of country’s system of constitutional checks and balances.
Mr. Seymour argued that one reason the government should revert to the old system is that people don’t have the chance to defend themselves against auditor general’s reports until they appear as a witness in PAC proceedings. We would suggest a better approach is to try to conduct the business of the country in such a way as to not draw harsh criticism from the auditor general in the first place.