National budget hearings set to begin Thursday

Inside the Parliament Chamber of Solomon Islands. Photo: Courtesy of Radio Australia

The Public Accounts Committee will commence hearings on the 2018 Appropriation Bill 2018 with line ministries on Thursday.

The bill was tabled in Parliament yesterday.

Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Douglas Ete commended the Government for fulfilling its responsibility, but he cautioned that the committee needs ample time to scrutinise the budget.

As the last budget before the House dissolves, it is significant, Mr Ete said.

He said because the budget documents were brought in parts over the weekend and throughout last week, members of his committee should be properly briefed before seeing all the line ministries and their subsidiaries.

Mr Ete said it is a necessary part of the oversight process as the committee is obliged to table and inform Parliament of its findings and recommendations. Therefore, he said, his committee must be given at least two weeks to fulfil its duty.

The committee has requested that the Prime Minister further adjourn Parliament once it resumes next Monday.

Seven searchers from parliaments across the Pacific have joined the National Parliament of Solomon Islands’ Parliamentary Budget Team to provide support for the overall review of the national budget.

It is part of the United Nations Development Programme’s Pacific Parliamentary Effectiveness Initiative that engages peer parliaments, including the Federal Parliament of Australia, the New Zealand House of Representatives and the Legislative Assembly of Tonga.

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