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Gov’t moves to National Assembly to remove Patterson from PAC over gold bracelet fiasco

Government Chief Whip Gail Teixeira has given notice to table a motion in the National Assembly to remove General Secretary of the Alliance For Change (AFC) David Patterson from chairing the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

This motion is set to be debated when the House meets on Thursday, June 10th at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre.

The government first attempted to have Patterson removed from the post earlier this year after the 2016 Auditor General’s Report revealed that he had received expensive gifts – including a $900,000 gold bracelet – from several government agencies under his control, while he served as Minister of Public Works. However, the motion was not successful.

The motion is in the name of the government’s Chief Whip who is also the Minister of Parliamentary  Affairs  and  Governance.

According to the motion, Patterson violated the Standing Orders of the National Assembly and “is resolute in his refusal, using all forms of subterfuge, to allow the motion for his removal to be “put” to the vote,” at the level of the Committee.

As such, the Government Chief Whip is positing that the majority of the PAC members have lost confidence in the Chairperson.

She is asking the National Assembly to approve the removal of the AFC General Secretary from the post.

If removed from the head of the PAC, Patterson will still be allowed to function as a member of the Committee and another Opposition member will take his post.

The PAC is responsible for examining the audited accounts, as presented in the Auditor General’s Report, showing the appropriation of sums granted by the National Assembly to meet public expenditure and such other accounts laid before the Assembly as the Assembly may refer.

It is also required to exercise general supervision over the functioning of the Auditor General in accordance with the Rules, Policies and Procedures Manual and any other law; and nominate the members of the Public Procurement Commission for approval by the National Assembly.