Parliament confused

Printing error forces adjournment to sort out mixed copies of document

By Gary Hatigeva

PRINTING error forced parliament into adjournment yesterday. Everyone except the Prime Minister had a copy of the revised version of the budget document.

Parliament was forced to go into an early adjournment following a mix-up in the copies of the 2018 recurrent estimates.

The Speaker, Ajilon Nasiu made the decision after Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela requested for an adjournment in the proceedings of the Committee of Supplies into the budget document.

PM Hou picked out the mismatch in the document when he was questioned over certain sections in the recurrent estimates where he was told that the copy in his possession on the budget was an earlier version of the document and not the revised copy.

Under Parliamentary Standing order 35 (4), the Prime Minister moved to have further proceedings of the committee into the 2018 budget adjourned, which easily got the support of members and was passed.

“This is to allow members to have the right version copy of the budget because it seems there is a problem with printing,” Hou explained when moving to adjourn the committee proceedings.

Parliament session was later resumed but was also adjourned by the Speaker, who noted the error, which was blamed on printing issues.

“It seems that there were two different copies of the recurrent estimates amongst members. The copies that some have are earlier versions of the book,” the Speaker further explained.

In his adjournment of parliament, Nasiu also reiterated that the House is adjourned so that time is also given for the printing of the correct copies and members to look through it, in preparation for today’s resumption of all meetings.

However, it was later realised that most ministers except for the Prime Minister was without the revised copy of the Budget Document.

Parliament on Tuesday completed all debates into the Appropriation Bill 2018 and has now gone down into the Committee of Supplies for the in-depth scrutiny of the budget, page by page.

The Committee proceeding into the budget continues and is also expected to complete today.

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