Fiscal Management and Accountability Bill passed

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By Jomo Paul

Parliament[www.inewsguyana.com] – The National Assembly on Thursday, July 30 passed the Fiscal Management and Accountability Amendment Bill 2015 which would allow constitutional bodies more independence to manage their affairs within the ambit of the constitution.

The Bill was presented to Parliament by Finance Minister Winston Jordan and had its first reading where the Minister underscored the importance of the autonomy of constitutional bodies.

These bodies would include the Office of the Ombudsman, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Essentially, the Bill allows these agencies to draw monies for their operations directly from the Consolidated Fund instead of going to the Finance Minister as previously existed.

Jordan, in his presentation, addressed concerns about autonomy being given to such bodies, pointing out that the agencies will have to function within their yearly budget and these Bodies would be subject to the same regulations as other budget agencies.

He said too that any monies not used during the fiscal period would have to be returned to the consolidated fund. The Minister also stated that while the Bill would remove Ministerial oversight from the agencies, it would now be entrusted to the National Assembly.

Jordan also made it clear that should the economy be the subject of a windfall, he has the authority to cut back on the spending for these agencies but to do so he would need the approval of the National Assembly.

Vice President, Carl Greenidge and Junior Finance Minister Jaipaul Sharma also made presentations on the Bill.

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