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– $616M for previous years? advances still uncleared By Kiana Wilburg The long-awaited 2013 Auditor General?s Report has revealed once again that the previous administration continued to withdraw moneys from the Contingencies Fund in breach of the nation?s fiscal laws.Auditor General, Deodat SharmaAuditor General (AG),Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys, Deodat Sharma noted in his report that for the year 2013, $510M was withdrawn from the Contingencies Fund which did not meet the specified criteria.The Contingencies Fund is a sub-fund of the Consolidated Fund which is the main government account for expenditure and is used for emergency expenditure only.The AG noted that in his previous reports, he would have highlighted instances where the criteria were not fully met for advances from the Contingencies Fund. In his 2012 report, Sharma had said that $95.661M in advances were drawn from the Fund but did not meet the criteria.He noted that in accordance with Section 41 of the Fiscal Management and Accountability (FMA) Act, the Finance Minister may approve a Contingencies Fund advance as an expenditure out of the Consolidated Fund by the issuance of a drawing right.He said that the criteria require the minister to be satisfied that, ?an urgent, unavoiding and unforeseen need for the expenditure has arisen: a) for which no moneys have been appropriated or for which the sum appropriated is insufficient or b) for which moneys cannot be reallocated as provided for under this Act or c) which cannot be deferred without injury to the public interest??Given this fact, the AG said that while it is observed that there is a closer monitoring of these advances, the situation still existed and for the year under review,Cheap Basketball Jerseys, three advances did not meet the criteria.He said that advances were made for the Ministry of Agriculture on behalf of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) for the payment owing of fertilizers, and the Guyana Defence Force to ensure the serviceability of force?s fleet of aircraft and also to provide adequate feeding of troops for routine and operational activities, due to price increasesIn response to queries in this regard,Cheap Jerseys From China, the Finance Ministry, which was headed by the former Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh,Cheap Jerseys From China, insisted that it continued to ensure that there was full compliance with the requirements of the FMA Act as it related to the granting of Contingencies Fund Advances.The AG nevertheless recommended that the Finance Ministry adopt stringent measures to ensure that there is compliance with Section 41 of the FMA Act regarding the criteria for the granting of advances.Additionally, the AG?s report noted that after an examination of the Statements of Receipts and Payments of the Contingencies Fund as at December 31,Wholesale Jerseys, 2013, it was revealed that amounts totaling $615.6M represented still uncleared advances from the fund. Sharma said that it is important to also note that these sums for the years 2011 and 2012 were not passed by the National Assembly.However, the three advances which were made from the Contingencies Fund for 2013 were all cleared by the National Assembly. This was done through a supplementary estimate laid before the House. This is done to ensure the proper replacement of the amount advanced.Over the years, the abuse of the Contingencies Fund was a topical issue for A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) while they served as the parliamentary opposition.AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan had emphasized on several occasions that the National Assembly is the first device or mechanism for which contingences advances can be protected from abuse.The politician had asserted, ?The (PPP) has been abusing their understanding of the criteria of an emergency under the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act.?When we run to the Fund it is only to be used for emergency cases, like if there is a serious flood in Mahaicony and we need to remove citizens, money would be used in that case. But I understand that they are using the Contingencies Fund to relieve the National Communications Network.He had even appealed for the former President, Donald Ramotar, to assent to the amendment made to the FMA Act.?The amendment seeks to clarify a part of the Act which has to do with officers who can be prosecuted for the abuse of the Fund. But it is the Minister (Former Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh) we understand to be giving such directions.?He gives the permission for the money to be used, and as such he needs to be held accountable. The (former) President,NFL Jerseys Outlet, by not assenting to this amendment, is also condoning this and allowing criminality to continue.?I am begging the people of this nation to understand that it is their money that is being abused and to realize what kind of government they had,? Ramjattan said.The Fiscal Management and Accountability (Amendment) Bill 2015 was tabled yesterday by Finance Minister, Winston Jordan in the National Assembly yesterday. President David Granger has already given his commitment to assenting to his Bill.
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