Auditor General did no wrong

Auditor General Jaiwantie Ramdass. -
Auditor General Jaiwantie Ramdass. -

THE EDITOR: Having had some time to review this matter, I have to say the Auditor General did no wrong. The Auditor General acted within the confines of her constitutional requirements as set down in section 116 of the Constitution.

The Auditor General is appointed by the President in accordance with section 117 of the Constitution and therefore this is an independent office and it is clear that she has acted properly within the law.

I wish to remind the Government that, in accordance with section 116(4), the Auditor General shall submit his/her reports to the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate and the Minister of Finance. Which Jaiwantie Ramdass did.

I cannot understand how the minister and even the Attorney General, who ought to know better, could use what could only be called bullying tactics, by means of a pre-action protocol letter, to prevent Ramdass submitting her report of the public accounts of TT for the financial year 2023 due to certain information that needed to be added.

In all my years having worked in the public service and then as a practising attorney working in various ministries have I ever heard of such actions taken towards an auditor general.

I remind the Government that according to section 116(6) of the Constitution, the Auditor General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority. Therefore, the Government was out of place to act in the way it did.

It appears that the PNM Government believes the Auditor General should report to them when in fact the Government should report to the Auditor General as per the Constitution. One must remember the Constitution provides for accountability.

One can only deduce from the actions of the Government that it was found wanting when it could not account for certain sums of money and did not want the report to reflect that.

Also, why doesn’t the Government just allow the report to be laid in Parliament and if there are discrepancies let it go before the Public Accounts Committee? Clearly the Government has questions to answer.

I therefore call on the Prime Minister to fire his Minister of Finance and the Attorney General and do it now. If he doesn’t then it is clear the PNM's trend of interfering with independent offices, as was seen with the Office of the DPP and the Police Service Commission, will continue.

If this trend continues, then the Prime Minister must do the right thing and call a general election now. It is time for this nonsense to stop.


legal officer to UNC executive


"Auditor General did no wrong"

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