BY GEORGINA KEKEA
THE Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is concerned about the recurring practice by the government of procrastination.
In its report on the 2017 Supplementary Appropriation Bill (SAB) 2018, the Committee said, the process of bringing forward arrears from previous years to another fiscal year have a diverse impact on the following year’s budget.
The report said, this will also have a diverse bearing on the implementation of government’s action plans which will cause unnecessary strain on the current budget.
The 2017 SAB 2018, though already been spent a year ago, is a requirement by the Public Financial Management Act 2013.
As required by the Act, the hearing into the said SAB is to correct monies spent through Contingencies Warrant (CW) and Advance Warrants (AW).
In the report, the Committee concluded that most of the requests made in the 2017 SAB 2018 were foreseeable and could have been factored in the 2017 Appropriation Bill 2017.
“Except for issues of unknown nature as stipulated in provisions of the National Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act 2013,” the report said.
On this note, the Committee reiterates it previous calls for the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT) to have robust planning processes within the fiscal budget year and factor these known expenditures in that year to prevent the application of a CW and further supplementary appropriation for that fiscal year.
MoFT in August this year (2018) during the 2019 National Budget Launch, highlights procrastination and complacency as all-time issues faced by the Ministry.
Lack of procurement planning in Government’s ministries is also an issue.
At the same launch, during the 2019 National Budget Launch, a representative of the Core Ministerial Coordinating Committee in the Office of the Prime Minister made a strong call to agencies and senior officials. The coordinating committee as part of their aims and objectives are to ensure implementing agencies and senior government officials are accountable for their actions or non-actions in delivering the priority policies of the government.
The National Budget is a priority policy of the government.