Chairman of Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PPAC), Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says the committee will not back off its investigation of irregularities at the education ministry and Caribbean Maritime University unless criminal charges are brought in the matter.
Attorney Bert Samuels has called for the PAAC to halt hearing matters that could lead to criminal prosecution.
However, Dr. McNeill notes that no charges have yet been brought, adding that the PAAC must continue to carry out its oversight function.
“We oversight the spending of government money, That has led in many cases to unearthing of issues that has led in many cases to unearthing a lot of the issues that now become matters in which charges are laid. Now once the charges are laid, we will desist from the investigations. But we have a duty and a responsibility to continue in other areas to look and provide that oversight. Because you have to unearth corruption wherever it exists in government.”
He also said that investigative bodies must move with alacrity in completing their probes.
Pointing to the issue of used cars for the police, Dr. McNeill said the PAAC is yet to see progress in investigation of the matter, months after it was asked to delay probing the contract.
“We were told at the committee that investigations were ongoing and we were asked to back off. We backed off and we did not seek….they told us that they would finish in three months and that will take us into September. Almost a year later - in July 2019, we don’t know about used car vehicles, we don’t know if investigations are finished ….nothing,” Dr. McNeill said.