Sunday, 3 April 2011

House Summersaults:Passes US$24MBudget After Initially Tying Passage To Performance Report

Tom B Nyenur
Staff Writer; 06-695-965

Barley three days after the House of Representatives denied approval of the supplementary budget submitted by the Executive Branch, report says the body has reneged on their words by unanimously endorsing it.
Legislative experts said President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf forwarded the proposed US$24M last week in an attempt to address a number of rising necessities ahead of July, suppose to mark the end of each fiscal year.

Among the urgencies, the president’s communication cited the need for the containment of security and humanitarian problems at Liberia’s borders with Ivory Coast, as well as the ensuing national referendum.
According to the communication, the budget also seeking to support the ensuing presidential and general elections is in line with Part III section 18 of the 2009 Public Financial Management Act.

The proposed supplementary budget, the President’s communication argued will be derived by way of funding through short term borrowing from the Central bank of Liberia against grants and revenues budgeted to be collected in 2010/2011.

 A breakdown of the appropriations show 28.4 percent of the budget, amounting to US$6,812,465.00 will cover domestic and external obligations including pension and severance payments; domestic, external and foreign obligations; while 17.2 percent or US$4,109,860.00 will be used on infrastructure.
Other allocations include US$9,907,722.00 including preparations for 2011 independence day celebrations among others.

Despite the president’s appeal calling on the legislature to treat the issue with urgency based on priorities contained thereof, the lawmakers last Tuesday argued they would not delve into the matter until the presidency submits a performance report for the 2009/2010.
The unanimous decision not to pass on the budget grew out of a communication from Representative Kuku Dorbor.

Representative Dorbor called on the body not to delve into the issue until such report, saying the call was in line with law and rule of the house.

Now the representatives say they have resolved to reverse the action based on a motion of reconsideration in line with legislative practice.