Judiciary, Parliament no longer dependent on Govt.
The Opposition last evening defeated Government in a debate to have a number of independent institutions receive monies directly from the Consolidated Fund, instead of depending on government for approval.
The successful piloting of the private member’s motion by Carl Greenidge, Shadow Minister of Finance of A Partnership For National Unity (APNU), would mean that the current practice by government to handle the budget can no longer happen.
The Opposition has been arguing that the bodies could not effectively be independent, if they are “depending” on Government to approve funding.
The institutions include the Guyana Elections Commission, Office of the Auditor General, Judicial Service Commission, Teaching Service Commission, Office of the Ombudsman, the Judiciary, Parliament Office and the soon-to-be Public Procurement Commission.
Speaker of the House, Raphael Trotman, in allowing the debate, made it clear that he had concerns over the motion, noting it was the first of its kind in about 20-30 years in the National Assembly.
Dominica had a similar case and the Speaker said he will be using that to guide him when a number of amendments are made.
Under the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act 2003, there is a schedule of bodies that benefits from funding.
Greenidge, in his motion, was arguing the independent institutions should never have been included in the list and instead should be drawing from Central Government account…the Consolidated Fund.
He said that while the Guyana National Newspaper Limited, Lethem Power Company, NICIL, National Communications Network, Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Guyana Lands and Survey Commission and Guyana Revenue Authority, are not listed, yet they are receiving the monies.
According to Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, the motion by Greenidge was flawed and misleading. He had urged that it be withdrawn.