Gov't MP leaves meeting after comments rejected

A seemingly irritated Leslie Campbell, member of parliament for St Catherine North East, yesterday walked out of a meeting in Gordon House after his submission that the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) was "erroneously" examining the Fiscal Policy Paper was dismissed by committee chairman Wykeham McNeill.

Campbell, a member of the PAAC, raised a 'point of order', while Mikael Phillips, another committee member, was addressing the committee and government technocrats.

An attorney-at-law, Campbell made reference to Section 48 (b) subsection (6) of the Financial Administration and Audit Act, which states: "The Auditor General shall, as soon as is reasonably practicable after the Fiscal Policy Paper is laid before both Houses of Parliament, examine the components of the Fiscal Policy Paper and provide a report to the houses."

He insisted that the auditor general had not submitted a report on the fiscal policy paper, and as such, "it is inappropriate for this committee to be considering the paper in the absence of the legally required certificate from the auditor general."

However, McNeill responded by quoting from the minutes of the meeting of the Lower House on September 26, 2017.

Suspension of Standing Orders

He read, "The minister of finance and the public service, having obtained suspension of the Standing Orders moved: 'Be it resolved that the Fiscal Policy Paper financial year 2017-18 interim report, which was laid on the table of the House on September 26, 2017, be referred to the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee for consideration and report'."

Addressing Campbell, the chairman said: "I suggest that you take it up with the minister of finance and the public service."

Campbell sought to intervene a second time but was shut down by McNeill, who instructed Phillips to continue his comments.

Campbell quickly gathered his documents and exited the chamber.


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