Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee,Davendranath Tancoo, MP calling the meeting to order, yesterday.

Gail Alexander

Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Dave Tancoo yesterday reprimanded the Ministry of Finance for failing to submit information on the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) which was requested of the Ministry since December 4.

The ministry’s failure to do so caused the shelving of yesterday’s PAC’s meeting on the NLCB.

Tancoo told Permanent Secretary Michelle Durham Kissoon, “This was very, very unfortunate. I feel extremely disrespected. Finance has disrespected the PAC and country by not having the information. You put the PAC at a serious disadvantage as we’ve lost one working day.”

The PAC which comprises members of the Government, Opposition and Independent Senate bench, considers and reports to the House of Representatives on the accounts of state funds assigned to meet public expenditure. The PAC also deals with this based on reports of the Auditor General.

The committee met virtually yesterday to interview NLCB officials including chairman Eustace Nancis and director Camille Forde plus Finance Ministry officials including PS Durham-Kissoon.

The discussion was to focus on the implementation of the recommendations in the PAC’s 25th report concerning the examination of NLCB’s audited financial statements (2008 to 2012) and NLCB’s expenditure and internal controls then.

Tancoo said he was extremely disturbed by the failure to get legitimate replies since the queries emanated from documentation given to both parties since 2019.

Durham-Kissoon apologised to Tancoo, the PAC and NCLB for the inconvenience caused by non-submission of the replies. She said it was due to “inconclusive treatment of responses.”

Tancoo called on the ministry to submit the written responses by tomorrow.