…as stakeholders finally agree on Parliament dates
The sitting of the House of the National Assembly has been postponed once again as has been announced by Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, who says that an agreement between the stakeholders has finally been reached.
Dr. Luncheon says that the new dates agreed to for the Sitting of the National Assembly will be on Wednesday and Thursday of the new week.
Wednesday has been set aside for the conducting of the business of the non-governmental parties in Parliament, meaning the Combined Opposition.
Dr. Luncheon was at the time speaking at his post-Cabinet press briefing held each week at Office of the President, and reminded that there are on the Order Paper for those sittings, a number of motions that had been filed some time ago and are yet to be debated in the House.
The opposition motions, according to Dr. Luncheon, will be dealt with in the House this coming week.
He explained that on the second day of the meeting of the National Assembly in the coming week, government’s business will be addressed.
“Importantly would be consideration of the resubmitted Financial Paper #7, now labelled Financial Paper #9.”
This issue, Dr. Luncheon recalled, was a part of the original Financial Papers submitted as a Supplementary Appropriation from the Contingencies Fund, but had been voted down by the Combined Opposition earlier this year.
As such the Contingencies Fund (akin to Govt. petty cash) is yet to be replenished to the tune of the money that had been voted down. This money however remains represented as expenditure for 2011 in the 2012 Budgetary Estimates.
Dr. Luncheon reminded that the consideration had been urged by the Speaker of the House Raphael Trotman.
Trotman, at the time the provisions had been voted down by the Combined Opposition, had informed the Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh, that at a later date they could be re-submitted for re-consideration.
Dr. Luncheon calls next Thursday’s deliberations in the House an “acid test of the facility of Supplementary Provisions.”
The Head of the Presidential Secretariat also reminded that up for consideration when the Government gets its turn to conduct business in the House would be the motion related to the Prime Minister and the Integrity Commission.
Dr. Luncheon pointed to the resolve clause of that motion which speaks to “the call for the House to agree to have the submission of all of their reports of assets by serving Members of Parliament brought to the attention of the House.”
The Cabinet Secretary explained that the intention is coercive and aims to have another mechanism in place to have MPs compliant with the laws, “in particularly with probity in public life.”
Dr. Luncheon also hinted at a second motion by the governing party to be tabled in the House for debate to specifically address probity in public life and would be calling for disclosure of submissions made and evidence of tax compliance annually.
Dr Luncheon says that the motion is looking to have evidence of compliance be provided to the Speaker of the House Trotman, on an annual basis.
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