House Speaker Marisa Dalrymple Philibert
By Lorraine Mendez
Attorney General Dr. Derrick McKoy has indicated that how the Parliament receives and tables reports from the Integrity Commission is not regulated by the Integrity Commission Act or Standing Orders governing parliamentary proceedings.
He says the Speaker of the House of Representatives may therefore table reports before or after they are submitted to the oversight committee.
This was communicated by House Speaker Marisa Dalrymple Philibert as the House of Representatives resumed sittings Tuesday afternoon.
She said the Attorney General has suggested that the Parliament may consider the examples of South Africa and Australia in relation to the specific procedures for tabling documents in Parliament.
"As such, it is my thought that the Rules Committee could or may sit to consider the suggestion from the Attorney General's chambers in order that we could set out a procedure as to how reports from the external committees should be dealt with," Mrs Dalrymple Philibert said.
In relation to reports from the Auditor General on public bodies, Mrs Dalrymple Philibert said though she has not received a final opinion from the Attorney General's chambers on how they are to be dealt with, there is legislation governing the tabling of such reports.
"I, having read Section 13A of the Public Body Management and Accountability Act and Section 30 of the Financial Audit and Administration Act, I'm very satisfied that the Auditor General's reports on public bodies must only be tabled after the Auditor General advises that the relevant minister has received the report, and most importantly, the stated time of two months has passed," she asserted.
The House Speaker wrote to the Attorney General earlier this year seeking advice on the procedure for the tabling of reports from public bodies.
She had also refused to table three reports from the Auditor General, insisting that she was awaiting guidance from the Attorney General.