HOU QUESTIONED 2017 BUDGET PROCESS

Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and Member of Parliament for Small Malaita Rick Hou. Photo credit: GCU.

                                       Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and Member of Parliament for Small Malaita Rick Hou. Photo credit: GCU.

The integrity of the Budget process and credibility of the 2017 Budget may be questionable, claimed Hon. Rick Hou MP, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and Member of Parliament for Small Malaita Constituency.

The former Central Bank Governor explains, a huge number of ministries will resort to relying on the use of virements, contingency warrants and supplementary appropriation to fund normal programs and projects this year.

He points out, all of these are due to a lack of consultation with the Budget Unit.

Hon. Hou believes, this practice must be curbed as it only promotes poor planning and seriously undermines the integrity of the budgetary processes.

On revenue collection, adds, the MoFT officials admitted, their revenue targets for 2017 will be more challenging.

Mr. Hou says clear inconsistencies are evident with the 2017 budget support figures in the Budget Strategy and Outlook for this financial year.

He cited, the Ministry of Police was allocated $22,000,000.00 for Workmen’s compensation – which the Ministry officials informed they did not request.

The PAC Chair says, the Ministry, however, requested a similar amount for other operations, which is not allocated to them.

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