Parliament warns ministers overspending on fiscal budget

John Agany Deng, chairperson standing specialized committee of Information at the R-TNLA and the official spokesperson of the National Assembly speaking to reporters in a past event at Freedom Hall (Photo: Philip Buda Ladu)

By Mary Poni

The spokesperson of the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) has warned ministers and gov’t spending agencies from overspending outside their appropriated budget ceiling of the fiscal year or face the full force of the law.

The chairperson of the standing specialized committee for information at the R-TNLA and spokesperson of the national assembly John Agany Deng made the statement in an exclusive interview with No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper.

He said each spending agencies and ministers must always remember that overspending is a crime unless there are other burning issues, adding that they are not to plan for their supplementary and by doing that, is a responsible way of budgeting in the nation.

Agany said some spending agencies were cheated on their budgets which mean they were not given the due money allocated to their dockets.

Earlier this month, some ministers had raised serious concerns during the passing of the 2021/2022 fiscal year budget at the parliament as they complained that their budgets are often not cashed for them by the Ministry of Finance and Planning, thus paralyzing their activities.

The act of overspending by some few government spending agencies depriving other key dockets puzzled the parliament as its spokesperson said he doesn’t know how the Ministry of Finance operationalizes the budget when it has been approved and it becomes a law.

He further stated that according to the appropriation bill which is always passed concurrently with each financial year budget, reckless spending is a crime and it’s punishable by law.

“Why is it called appropriation bill? He asked, it is because it appropriates the resources that exist in the budget and it is a law that binds on the spending agencies and any reckless spending is punishable by the law that exists especially the constitution agreements and conduct of business,” Agany noted.

The national assembly spokesperson stressed that the appropriation bill is the one regulating the payments and instead of putting down the Country, the law will take its cause in a sense that if the spending agencies did overspend, they have to be punished for their actions.

“There is going to be no excuses when he or she recklessly spent and asked to account for the expenses. “Because it will be unbecoming and we are not going to allow that to happen as legislators or if they want to be punished, let them try,” he cautioned the officials.

“We are speaking from what we know the responsibility of the nation as it is our mandate to make sure that our natural resources are protected from the looters and we are not going to allow anybody to loot our country,” Agany stressed.

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