“New rules a ‘must for state spending’”

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Government officials say they are prepared to introduce and abide by new rules governing how state funds are spent.

But they are also calling for action against members of the former administration if there is evidence they contravened laws governing their office, including how housing agencies were run.

Ministers Kerrie Symmonds and Edmund Hinkson and backbencher Ralph Thorne all backed such actions on Tuesday as they debated a resolution for the House of Assembly to accept and adopt the Report of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) 2013-2018.

The report, which the Barbados Labour Party, then in Opposition, unsuccessfully tried to table in the Lower Chamber in February, examined the operations of the National Housing Corporation (NHC) and the Ministry of Housing and Lands.

Thorne, who filed the resolution as a private member’s motion, said: “It remains a blot on the parliamentary life of this country when two, perhaps three, ministers of Government sought to disturb and disrupt the proceedings of this House, the proceedings of a lawfully constituted Public Accounts Committee, and to deliberately absent themselves from the proceedings.” (SC)

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