During a meeting held by the Parliament yesterday, a decision was made to reconstitute the National Honours Committee.
However, the Leader of the Opposition, Jamale Pringle, pointed out that the committee had not been set up according to the law, which states that only two senators should be part of the committee, one of whom must be from the opposition.
It was revealed that both government senators, Samantha Marshall and Mary-Claire Hurst, were members of the seven-member panel, which had one less member of parliament.
This infraction occurred when the committee approved a list of nominees for Independence Day honours, including the Attorney General, which the Prime Minister signed off.
As a result, the Leader of the Opposition called for the committee to be reviewed during the first parliamentary sitting after a general election.
Jamale Pringle proposed that the National Honours Committee should be constituted during the first sitting of the Parliament after a general election, much like the Public Accounts Committee.
The newly established committee will comprise of St. John’s Rural South MP Daryll Matthew, St. John’s Rural East MP Maria Browne, St. John’s City East MP Melford Nicholas, and All Saints East and St. Luke MP Jamale Pringle, as well as senators Shawn Nicholas and Samantha Marshall.
The new committee will have to approve the nominated list again within the next few days, as the National Awards ceremony is scheduled for November 1.
Senator Shawn Nicholas suggested that the committee should be restructured to include more members of civil society in its deliberations.
The Cabinet agreed to amend the law, ensuring that one member from civil society would be added to the National Honours Committee, while the number of government appointees would be reduced.
These changes will take effect soon.