Accountability is key in public office.
That's the declaration of Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles during the opening of the 18th Biennial Conference of Presiding Officers and Clerks of the Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
Charles, himself a former presiding officer of the Tobago House of Assembly, said the public also has a role in assuring this accountability.
“Parliament must have a high level of accountability and it must be so perceived by citizens,” Charles said. “For this to be done, the public must be well informed on initiatives and actions taken by their parliaments to ensure that proper process is followed in all aspects of public life...”
The conference brought together representatives of parliaments from 15 member countries to exchange ideas and discuss shared issues. This year's theme is “Parliamentary Accountability and Governance — Comparing Institutional Designs”.
The event was also attended by Speaker of the House of Representatives Bridgid Annisette-George, who said the roles and responsibilities of parliamentary officers “enhance the quality of our democracy”.