By Joyce Namutebi and Moses Mulondo
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has issued directives on handling supplementary budget requests from the Ministry of Finance by the House.
The decision comes after continued flouting of the elaborate provisions of the law in regard to supplementary requests by the Ministry, Kadaga told Parliament on Thursday stressing that this cannot be permitted to continue.
A case in point, she said, was the request against which Parliament received a report on Tuesday (July 8, 2014). “This House has been constrained to deal with supplementary expenditure requests that have not complied with the laws of the land,” she warned.
On Tuesday, Parliament received the report of the budget committee on the supplementary budget request under Schedule Number 2 in the Financial Year 2013/14.
During the course of debate, however, a concern arose as to why the supplementary request was being presented to pay for debts or obligations which accrued without prior parliamentary approval as provided for under the Constitution in Article 195 (3) prompting the speaker to adjourn the House promising to come back with a ruling on the matter in order to guide the House on supplementary appropriations. A Government request for additional Sh579b was stood over.
Kadaga said that upon presenting a supplementary request to Parliament, the Ministry of Finance shall be required to satisfy the House that government has endeavoured to get resources from the Contingencies Fund as provided for in the constitution and Public Finance and Accountability Act to meet expenditures which are not foreseen.
The Ministry shall also be required to satisfy Parliament that a need has arisen for expenditure for a purpose for which no amount has been appropriated by the Appropriation Act.
The Ministry shall also convince the House that the supplementary expenditure that requires additional resources over and above what is appropriated by Parliament does not exceed 3% of the total approved budget for that financial year.
The Ministry also has to ensure that further disbursements sought are required in respect of a service which could not have been foreseen, may not be postponed without detriment to public interest and which cannot be appropriately charged to an existing item of the estimates.
Kadaga explained that the requirements are derived from the various laws that provide for supplementary expenditures.
Kadaga issues directives on supplementary budget requests.