There is finally unanimous support for a Senate Select Committee to investigate the Auditor General’s special audit findings. Cabinet announced today via press release that they have switched from pushing for a Bi-Cameral Joint Select Committee, to supporting the idea of a Senate Inquiry. This is a tremendous shift, but when one considers the factors that played into the Cabinet’s new position, one would recognize how much pressure the Barrow Administration had to face.
But Cabinet’s change doesn’t mean everything is honky dory. To the contrary, there is disagreement over what should be the composition of the Senate Select Committee. At the August 31 Senate meeting, the Opposition Senators suggested that the Committee must be made up of a representative from the Opposition and Government, and 1 for each Social Partner. Cabinet does not agree, however, and has proposed that the Committee consists of 3 Government representatives, 3 from the Social Partners and 1 from the Opposition. Now, if we consider that the Church and Government seem to be holding hands tightly on issues, we could take it to mean that the Government still has a majority.
The PUP is sticking to their original suggestion. They issued a release of their own today. While the Opposition commended the Government for heeding the call, they expressed concern that the Cabinet is now attempting to dictate what the composition of the Committee should be.
The PUP release cites [quote] “that the Senate Standing Order #69 specifically states that the Special Select Committee shall be appointed by order of the Senate” [end quote].
The PUP points out that if there is any counter proposal on the composition, then such proposal should be tabled in the Senate for debate and resolution.
The Opposition PUP also called on the President of the Senate to call a special Senate meeting so that the motion for a Senate Inquiry could be re-introduced.
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