We will find out today whether the recent review of the budget by the Public Accounts Committee was a waste of time or not.
I just cannot see what
effect any recommendation made by six or seven MPs, is going to have overall on
the budget which comes up for debate in Parliament today.
I note the recommendation
made in the PAC’s annual review (Cook Islands News 29 May 2023) that
ministries/agencies which fail to update their annual reports, should be
penalised and not receive their 2023/24 appropriations.
Well, I would put the
question back to the previous mayor and three former heads of ministries, who
are sitting on the PAC – did you ever have your annual reports furnished on
Parliament is supposed to
debate the budget for 10 sitting days. I hope the MPs are still there on Friday
30 June. I believe MPs are still 10 days behind in their proposed
40-sitting-days schedule for the 2023 calendar year (CIN 30 March
I also note the suspension
(for the second time!) of the deputy prime minister’s appointment as a minister
of the crown (CIN 15 June 2023).
One only has to look at New
Zealand over the past few months and see how they treat cabinet ministers and
officials at the slightest whiff of trouble.
It’s about having trust,
integrity and accountability in the public service system.
If those at the top do not
appear to be serious about what they say or do, then who should be.