On the re-opening of SLPP Office … “We would never encourage violence” John Benjamin...

Sierra Leone News: Foreign Affairs Ministry vote left out subcommittee Report

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs allocation for 2019 in the Appropriation Bill was yesterday left out of Committee of Supply subcommittee One Report that was approved to form part of the 2019 Budget by Parliament. The reason for it to be left out was as a result of a decision reached by the Speaker, Hon Abass Bundu, based on the excuse given by the acting Permanent Secretary, Joseph Tonton that he was not aware that Parliament is considering their allocation. It could be recalled the sitting yesterday 5th December 2018 was delayed due to the none availability of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) in the morning hours when Parliament usually resumes proceedings. When sittings commenced after 1pm the Speaker instructed the Clerk to do the roll call of MDA’s representatives present and those absent will have their allocations left out until their show up in Parliament. The acting Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Affairs Ministry appeared in Parliament when the Speaker was about to put a vote for the allocations read and debated to form part of the 2019 Appropriation Bill. Contributing to the Debate, the Deputy Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Hon Lahai Marrah, disclosed a week is not enough for the Committees to properly probe and scrutinize the MDA’s documents to ensure they do a proper monitoring as it is almost impossible for them to secure supporting document. He disclosed he was shocked to realize Audit Service Sierra Leone was not observing the austerity measures as during that period instead of their staff receiving the normal 45 liters fuel per week they were receiving 75 liters, which was very alarming. The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee who is also the Deputy Speaker, Hon Solomon Sengepoh Thomas, said he is extremely concerned about MDA’s approaching Parliament demanding for increase on their allocations but at the end fail to properly account for what they receive. “Please be very careful with the peoples money” he warned MDAs, stating PAC will not tolerate a situation where MDA’s will face the Committee without proper documentation, disclosing there must be a system if the country is to progress. “Make sure your documents are on there form before the end of 2019 financial year” he cautioned MDA’s, advising them to ensure all documents are in place before they sign any agreement or else they will face the consequences. Hon Hindolo M Gevao disclosed that lack of resources is affecting the smooth running of the justice system across the country, explaining the Judiciary is unable to assign Magistrates throughout the country due to lack of funds. “Chiefdom Police are being neglected over the years. That sector needs urgent consideration if we want fair hearing at the Local Court,” said Hon Dr Mamoud Kalokoh, disclosing the Office of National Security is also poorly funded considering their critical role in providing security for the nation. He called on the Ministry of Finance to think about a supplementary budget on some of the poorly funded MDAs that provide vital service to the nation. However when the question was put by the Speaker for the MDA’s listed allocations to form part of the 2019 Budget, the Opposition APC MPs voted against it whiles the ruling SLPP MPs voted in favor and the Speaker ruled in favor of those voted in favor despite a call from the acting opposition Leader citing Standing Order 46 for a head count.

The approved allocation that forms part of the Bill from the Report of Sub-committee one includes;

  • Ministry of Local Government southern province
  • The Judiciary
  • Audit Service Sierra Leone
  • Office of the Solicitor General
  • Office of the Administrator & Registrar General
  • Sierra Leone Law School
  • Local Courts
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Accountant General’s Department
  • National Commission for Democracy
  • Government Printing Department
  • National Commission of Human Rights
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Office of National Security
  • Ministry of Tourism
  • Sierra Leone Marine Time Administration
  • Sierra Leone Petroleum Directorate
  • Freetown City Council
  • Makeni City Council
  • Bombali District Council

Thursday December 06, 2018.

Comments are closed.