Cluster proposes for Public Finance Management Act review

The Budget and Finance and Public Accounts Cluster of Parliament is pushing for amendment of public finance management Act to give powers to members of the national assembly to make decisions on budget adjustments.

Under the current Act, only the finance minister is allowed to make final decisions on whether to increase or trim budget votes.

Presenting the Cluster`s report in the august House, co-chairperson Shadreck Namalomba said the current law is detrimental as sometimes it makes committee’s work on budget scrutiny useless when important recommendations are not taken into consideration.

“Currently under Public Finance Management Act, the Minister is the only person in power to make provisions and increase on a particular vote.

“It is only the Minister, the law mandates the Minister of Finance to increase that allocation on a particular vote and what we doing now we are at the mess of Minister of Finance,” he said.

Namalomba has suggested the need to direct such mandate to the whole House on allocation to the votes to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

“We can meet, we can lobby, but if the Minister of Finance decides not to move an inch, nothing happens so our committee made a recommendation that we need to reform the way we do our budgeting.

“Because this is the House of representation and when the whole House decides and resolves to increase on a particular vote that should be allowed because it’s not only one particular person but we can say the two-thirds of the House, otherwise I am afraid that if the Minister of Finance doesn’t have a listening ear, nothing happens,” said Namalomba.

On parliamentary appropriation and budget, the cited Act says that Cabinet shall consider and approve a proposed budget and the Minister shall then cause the Ministry of Finance to prepare the Estimates, in accordance with the budget approved by Cabinet, for introduction to the National Assembly for the forthcoming financial year.

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