Public Accounts Committee Given High Marks

The Committee Clerk in the Northern Island Assembly has given the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) here high marks for their focus on ensuring accountability in public expenditure in Montserrat.

Jim Mcmanus recently ended a short stint on the island to support Clerk Judith Baker, and PAC members in developing and implementing appropriate procedures for managing the PAC and conducting committee inquiries in public.

Writing in the UK Overseas Territories Project Portal, McManus stated that the Clerk, her staff and the Committee were enthusiastic and highly committed to developing appropriate structures and practices to raise the public profile of the PAC and enhance its reputation as an essential arm of the legislature.

He said he was able to support them in the development of Terms of Reference and timelines for two inquiries, and incorporate these into a Forward Work Programme for the Committee up to the end of the year. 

He posited that the Forward Work Programme was particularly useful in focusing the Committee on the timelines required to conduct inquiries. 

This McManus says this is designed to help the Committee’s understanding of the need to balance the workload of the Clerk in planning inquiries to ensure she is afforded time to undertake the wide range of other duties that she has in the legislature, whilst leaving sufficient time to consider in detail, all committee related papers and actions.

The Northern Island Assembly Committee Clerk said in the article that during his stay in Montserrat he was able to support the Clerk here in developing staff roles for public meetings, as well as formal guides for witnesses attending the Committee, and for public and press attending public sessions of the committee. 

He says the Clerk now has templates for terms of reference, press releases, inquiry reports, chairperson’s brief, meeting agendas and minutes.