Member of Parliament for Aoke/Langalanga says there is need for better planning and budgeting process to minimise the use of Contingent Warrants, Advance Warrants and Supplementary Budget Bills.
Mr Mathew Wale made this statement in his debate on the 2017 Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2018.
Its understood that the money has been spent and Parliament is being asked to bless the expenditure.
The Bill however was passed on the floor of the Parliament through the committee stage and 3rd reading yesterday.
But Mr Wale said these expenditure tools offers a soft touch way to avoid exercising responsible foresight and budget discipline.
“I have consistently raised this matter over the past eight years in the hope that reforms are made to improve these two very important processes for government.
“Obviously this is a challenge both for the capacity of systems in ministries and the competence of officials,” Mr Wale said.
He further added that the political government is hostage to these although it is accountable for the outcomes of the poor planning and budgeting process.
“Therefore it is right that Parliament should expect some leadership from government to remedy this situation,” he added.
Mr Wale said when government allows itself the liberty to change expenditures along the way that are inconsistent with its own approved budget.
“It essentially is saying that government itself does not believe in its own planning to capture the priorities and set adequate resource allocations,” he said.
He further stated that this is the reason for so many supplementary appropriation bills coming to the parliament.
Mr Wale said the parliament has over the years allowed the government to get away with this practice out of logical resignation.
“This matter must be addressed in the on-going reforms in public financial management,” he said.
However, Minister for Finance and Treasury Manasseh Sogavare who tabled the Bill before the House in his response said that as long that there is parliament, government and the budgetary process they will continue to see budget coming to the parliament.
Mr Sogavare further stated that his Ministry will take into considerations the points raised during the debate.
“It is not an easy task because we are trying to put together a fiscal package that will adequately address he government’s program,” Mr Sogavare said.
By ANDREW FANASIA