Unity Fiji Leader Savenaca Narube is encouraging Government to take a revised budget to Parliament this month as this is a neater way to reconstitute spending.
The former Governor of the Reserve Bank said in a statement that it also transparently maps the impact of the new spending and savings on the budget deficit and borrowing.
He made the comment following the Government’s disbursement of $50 million for the ‘$200 Back to School’ assistance programme for students.
He said that it is not too difficult to prepare a revised budget or a mini budget because it is simply a variation of an existing budget.
Narube said Section 141 of the Constitution and Section 14 of the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA) states that all Government expenditures must be appropriated by Parliament before they are spent.
“Through the annual budget Appropriation Act, the Parliament appropriates money to the Budget Heads, which are generally government ministries. To fund its new initiatives, the new Government will have to redirect funds from another area.”
“The PFMA prescribes the conditions of moving funds within a Budget Head only. Strictly speaking, the Government cannot redirect expenditures between Budget Heads because these have not been appropriated by Parliament.”
“Some Governments manoeuvre around the appropriation requirement by taking a Supplementary Budget to Parliament after they have spent the money,” he added.
He said that Government’s regularization after the money has been spent is not in the spirit of the Constitution and the PFMA it is not the proper way of prudent public financial management.