On October 18, members of the National Assembly will consider a motion on the 2019 current and capital estimates of the nation’s Constitutional Agencies. The MPs are to set a date for the discussion of the estimates for each agency (a table of the estimates is attached to this article).
It was in 2015, that a significant piece of legislation geared at allowing key bodies financial independence was passed in the National Assembly. That legislation was the Fiscal Management and Accountability (Amendment) Bill 2015.
It allows for lump sum payments to be made to constitutional agencies thereby making them free from the automatic obligations and the discretionary powers exercised by the Minister of Finance.
Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, had explained that there are checks and balances in place to ensure that abuse does not take place, as annual reports and audited financial statements will be required to be prepared and presented.
Jordan made it clear that the bodies must enjoy fiscal autonomy so that they can serve the Guyanese people. He said that it will prevent the executive from micro-managing the finances of budgetary agencies. Under previous arrangements, the bodies were at the mercy of the ministries, having to apply for simple things like monies to travel. The new arrangements serve to boost public confidence in the offices.
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