The writ which was filed by Senior Counsel Roysdale Forde, charged the PPP administration with refusing to route the relevant elements of the national budget through the Public Accounts Committee, as required by the constitution of Guyana.
In addition, the writ further charges the administration with acting unconstitutionally, by refusing to appoint a member of the main opposition as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee as required by Order 82 (2) of the Standing Orders of the National Assembly in time to enable an examination of the national budget.
Patterson pointed out that on the 28th of August, 2020, a Proclamation summoning the First Sitting of the First Session of the 12th Parliament for the 1st day of September, 2020 when he along with 30 other APNU+AFC members of the National Assembly took the oath of Office.
He also received a copy of the Order Paper which was to consider the 2020 Budget Proposals of each of the 23 Constitutional Agencies named in the Order Paper, which were scheduled “to be circulated."
However, he said “none of the 2020 Budget proposals of the Constitutional Agencies were circulated to any of the members of the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change in sufficient time to enable consideration by the Assembly.”
The Writ noted that “the National Assembly purported to consider and approve The Budget Proposals of Constitutional Agencies at the First Sitting of the First Session of the 12th Parliament, [and] amongst the Constitutional Agencies whose Budgets were purportedly approved by the National Assembly were the Audit Office of Guyana and the Leader of the Opposition.”
The court filings by Senior Counsel Roysdale Forde advised that “Section 80 B (1) of the Fiscal Management and Accountability (Amendment) Act of 2015 provides that the Budget of the Audit Office of Guyana shall be submitted by the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee.”
Furthermore, he submitted that “section 80B (1) of the Fiscal Management and Accountability (Amendment) Act of 2015 provides that:” The public officer responsible for managing the affairs of an Agency or such other person designated by the appropriate authority for that purpose, shall submit budget proposals to the Clerk of the National Assembly (copied to the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Minister of Finance) who shall ensure that those proposals are submitted as presented and in the case of the Audit Office, the budget shall be submitted to Parliament through the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee."
According to Mr. Patterson “no such submission was made by the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee,” as the Public Accounts Committee was constituted on or about the 15th day of September 2020.”
“As at the 1st day of September, 2020, no member of the National Assembly was elected as the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee,” he said.
Senior Counsel Roysdale Forde is joined in the case by attorneys-at-law Ms. Olayne D. T.Joseph, Mr. Mayo Robertson, and Mr. Darren Wade. The case was filed in the Guyana Supreme Court on Thursday November 5, 2020.
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