Barbados ministers to be grilled on estimates

(Barbados Nation) A monumental change is coming to the way the annual Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure are presented in the House of Assembly.

 In a departure from the previous format in which ministers made their presentation standing by their assigned seat, they will now have to sit in the Well of the House of Assembly (the dividing space between the two sides of the Lower Chamber), along with their permanent secretary and technocrats of the ministry, to be quizzed by other ministers, backbenchers and the Opposition Leader on their plans to spend money allocated from the public purse.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley said the new procedure was in keeping with her determination to bring about greater transparency in Government.

“The minister would lead off with an opening statement, and the permanent secretary and the chief technical officer and other technical person are there to also answer in the same way . . . .

“A person will have three minutes within which to ask a question and will have the immediate right to three supplementaries [questions] thereafter,” she said, while the minister or the technical person would have up to five minutes to respond.


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