British clerk to work with PAC
A clerk from the British Parliament has been seconded to Bermuda to work on financial oversight with the Public Accounts Committee.
Stephen McGinness, the Clerk of the House of Commons’ PAC, will work alongside the Bermuda equivalent to scrutinise value for money.
The British Parliament said yesterday that Dr McGinniss had arrived on Monday and would be on the island until February 15. A spokesman for the British Government said the secondment was part of the Overseas Territories Project, a three-year initiative on public financial oversight involving the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK, the UK National Audit Office and the country’s Internal Audit Agency.
Dr McGinness’s arrival came after a similar visit last month to the Cayman Islands by Jonathan King, Deputy Clerk of the Tynwald — the Isle of Man’s Parliament.
Dr McGinness is to offer “face-to-face assistance in the preparation of inquiry planning, public reporting and communicating findings with the aim of strengthening the capacity of the committee”.
Dr McGinness said he brought 20 years of experience in the UK Parliament, eight as a parliamentary clerk, and that he wanted to “assist in the day-to-day running” of the Bermuda PAC.
He added: “I also intend to build long-lasting relationships with colleagues in Bermuda that can continue to support the work of the PAC as well as my own work in the UK.”
The British Overseas Territories Project has organised previous clerk attachments to PACs in Anguilla, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, St Helena and Turks and Caicos Islands, drawing on expertise from the legislative bodies of Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Wales and Jersey.
The British Government spokesman added that Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, the PAC chairwoman, will attend the UKOTP Oversight of Public Finances Forum in Miami in March with Bermuda’s clerk to the PAC.
The forum will examine common problems faced by PACs and internal and external audit agencies, and look at ways to develop financial oversight of public spending.
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