Budget Hearing Flop – Legislative Committee Defers FDA Appearance


Monrovia – The joint ways, Means, and Finance committee of the Legislature on Wednesday resumed public hearings into the expenditure component of the 2016/2017 budget as part of the ongoing budgeting process by the Legislature.

Report by Henry Karmo – [email protected]

As part of the process, the committee postponed hearing for the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) to Friday, August 5, 2016 over the lack of expenditure report for 2015/2016 Fiscal Year.

FDA Managing Director Harrison Karnwea and Comptroller Isaac K. Kipi were mandated by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee to provide detailed explanation on the expenditure of the US$3.8m received.

The FDA officials were also instructed to provide explanation of the US$8.4m of the SGS which was line-up under their budget.

Mr. Karnwea and the Comptroller were also told to update the Legislature about the concessional areas land rental fees, which include 30% for the county; 30% for the affected Community and 10% for FDA.

However, Mr. Karnwea appealed to the Legislature to increase their allotment in the 2016/2017 Budget from US$2.9m to US$4.9m.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture also presented its 2015/2016 Budget performance Report and expenditure plans to the joint committee on Ways, Means and Finance.

According to   Dr. Moses Zinnah, Minister of Agriculture, the Ministry used forty nine (49) percent of its appropriation on recurrent cost.

The Ministry has a two source Budget Composition.
A fact sheet from the Ministry named CARI, Personnel Compensation, Security Guards and professional contractors as MOA’s expenditure areas.

The Agriculture Ministry used US$13.8m of the US$28m of the Donor Financed Programs (DFP), including US$3.9m of the US$4.1m allocated for 2016 in the government’s appropriation.

Hearings for the Ministry of Education, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the MCSS were deferred to Friday August 5.

On today, the following are expected to appear for the hearing: Booker Washington Institute (BWI), Cuttington University, William V. S. Tubman University and WAEC.

The hearing is expected to run from Wednesday, August 3 to Tuesday, August 16, 2016 in the William R. Tolbert’s Joint Chamber.

Article 34 (d) of the 1986 constitution gives the Legislature the power to make appropriations for the fiscal governance of the country.

It is provided in Article 34 (d) The Legislature shall have the power: d)to levy taxes, duties, imports, exercise and other revenues, to borrow money, issue currency, mint coins, and to make appropriations for the fiscal governance of the Republic, subject to the following qualifications: (ii) no monies shall be drawn from the treasure except in consequence of appropriations made by legislative enactment and upon warrant of the President; and no coin shall be minted or national currency issued except by the expressed authority of the Legislature. An annual statement and account of the expenditure of all public monies shall be submitted by the office of the President to the Legislature and published once a year…”