By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – APNU+AFC Parliamentarians on Monday voted for the 2015 Budget for the Ministry of the Presidency (MOP) to be approved and funds for the agency be taken from the consolidated fund.
After a rigorous two hour question and answer session between People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Parliamentarians and Minister of State Joseph Harmon, the government with a majority in the House passed the allocations.
The Opposition PPP did not vote on any of the projects that were presented under the Ministry of the Presidency, however they also did not object. Questions fielded to Minister Harmon included concerns about procurement, hiring of contractual workers, salaries of Presidential advisors and importantly, the reason why funds were allocated to subsidized the National Communications Network (NCN) and Government Information Agency (GINA).
Harmon answered the questions in an aloof manner; deferring the concerns about NCN and GINA to the Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo under whose control the State media now falls.
The Minister was also asked about the $69M allocated for security services for the Head of State, President David Granger. Notably, some $1.4B was approved for the provision of administrative services under current expenditures and $558M for capital works within the Ministry.
For Presidential Advisory, some $565M was approved by the government controlled National Assembly. Harmon provided limited answers to the National Assembly on some of the issues to which Bishop Juan Edghill shouted “transparency has gone through the window.”
Budget estimates for the several departments under the Ministry of the Presidency including the Department of Citizenship headed by Winston Felix, and the Department of Natural Resources headed by Minister Raphael Trotman were also passed in the House after some questioning. The Capital expenditures for the agency have not yet been considered.