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Finance Ministry faces Parliament

Finance Ministry faces Parliament

The ministry of Finance and Economic Development on 11th February 2013 concluded a one day pre legislative briefing with members of parliament on the Appropriation Bill 2013 that was first read before the House by the minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr Kelfala Marah on 21st December 2012.

Director of Budget MOFED Matthew Dingie provided an analysis of the budget profile and estimates to participating MPs, while the Accountant General Kebbe Kourouma treated key issues of accountability, ethics and values in the public service.

Amongst the key topics of discussion between the parliamentarians during this one day pre legislative meeting were the role of parliament in the budget process; i.e. parliamentary committee (scrutiny of the executive), appropriation sub committees and reports, the public account committee-the Auditor General reports, the finance acts – a historical perspective and relevance to the budget, the resources envelop and its credibility and the mission, vision of MDAs.

According to the Director of Budget the national budget for 2013 has a slight increase in the expenditure and revenue generation of the government.  He also maintained that despite the increase of the 2013 budget, the government is finding it very hard to increase on its tax base, adding that most MDAs are not able to raise the required revenues needed for the government to facilitate their core administrative functions.

Dingie went on to present some of the basic government expenditures and some of the key sole beneficiaries of these subventions.  The budget directors also highlighted some of the constraints facing the 2013 budgets and also begged MPs to study the mechanics of the budgets so that they will be able to make informed decision in the future adding that MPs should be able to adequately take up accountability issues on the budget.

Accountant General MOFED Kebbe Kourouma spoke on the issues of accountability, ethic and value in the public service especially the financial management system. The AG also explained some of the basic financial relationship between MOFED and the parliamentarians to clear the public misconceptions on the roles of the Accountant General’s Department.

According to the AG Sierra Leone is spending more than the nation earns presently causing the country to eroding on the national capital. He also stated that due to this financial standing Sierra Leone cannot meet any investment activity until the revenues coffers are increase.

Kebbe kourouma blasted some key senior civil servants who undertake oversees trips without proper supporting documents to accounts for such trips. He begged MPs to assists in making sure that civil servants are able be accountable for some of such trips.

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