Finance Minister presents Supplementary Bill to Parliament

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The National Parliament House

The Minister for Finance and Treasury, Hon Snyder Rini today presented a supplementary bill to parliament, seeking approval for expenditures in excess of the of the sum appropriated for a purpose by an Appropriation Act or a purpose for which non sum has been appropriated and in this case, the 2016 Budget.

When presenting the 2016 Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2017 at the Second Reading stage this morning, the Minister for Finance and Treasury said the bill has been prepared as required under Section 102 (3) of the Constitution and Section 51 of the Public Financial Management Act 2013.

He said these sections stipulate that, “The Minister of Finance with prior approval of Cabinet may seek supplementary appropriations from Parliament (in addition to the Annual Appropriation Act) for expenditures in excess of the sum appropriated for a purpose by an Appropriation Act or a purpose for which no sum has been appropriated, if the Minister is satisfied that an urgent and unforeseen need has arisen and that issues must be authorized from the Consolidated Fund to meet that need.”

Minister Rini added that the Bill is in keeping with Section 58 of the Public Financial Management Act 2013. This section stipulates that the

Minister of Finance may in accordance with Section 103 (2) of the Constitution issue a Contingency Warrant for an urgent and unforeseen need or a purpose for which no sum has been appropriated and which cannot be delayed without detrimental effects to public interest.

He further added that the bill is also in keeping with section 60 of the Public Financial Management Act 2013. This section stipulates that the Minister of Finance may by warrant under his hand make disbursements of money forming part of the Consolidated Fund or other public funds for the purpose of making advances on behalf of and recoverable from other governments and agencies. The main purpose of this provision is to make donor funding available where it has been agreed too late for the regular budget process.

The Minister of Finance and Treasury said the Bill regularises a total of $92,243,517 Million spent at the last two quarters of 2016 and of this sum, $49.7-Million was for expenditures under Contingencies Warrant and $42.5Million was for Expenditures under the Advance Warrants.

He said the 2016 Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2017 did not supplement additional expenditures but rather regularises expenditures under the Contingencies Warrant and the Advance Warrants.

Minister Rini said the expenditures under the Contingency warrants include;

* $0.8-Million to cater for the Audit of the Solomon Islands Ports Authority for Office of the Auditor General;

* $4.9-Million additional funds for house rent and funding towards the National Referral Hospital operations under the Ministry of Health and Medical Services;

* $6.7-Million to cater for the National Parliament Office operating costs and Members of Parliament Discretionary Fund under the National Parliament;

* $12.7-Million for outstanding operational costs, support towards the Kolombangara Development Advisory Committee (KDAC) and Pacific Islands Development Forum Leaders’ Summit under the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet;

* $0.9-Million for furniture and renovations of the Attorney General Chambers under the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs;

* $9.9-Million for Electoral Commission Office, Support towards 2016 Solomon Games and Solomon Islands bid for 2023 Pacific games under the Ministry of Home Affairs;

* $3.0-Million to support the Solomon Islands Post Conflict rehabilitation and Restoration Association Guadalcanal under the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace;

* $0.6-Million for High Court Judges’ remuneration to preside over the Town Ground Plaza case under the National Judiciary; and

* $9.8-Million to cater for the outstanding payments to contractors under the Ministry of Infrastructure Development.

Minister Rini said the expenditures under the Advance Warrants which he used to create appropriations for accountable cash grants provide by donors include:

* $8.6-Million from the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade towards the new Ministry of Finance and Treasury Building;

* $3.1-Million from the New Zealand Government to the Ministry of Finance and Treasury to assist in improving Solomon Islands Inland Revenue Division;

* $7.6-Million provided through Accountable Cash Grants by the Enhanced Integrated (EIF) framework of the World Trade Organisation for the implementation of the Solomon Islands Tourism for Inclusive Development (SI-TIDE) Project under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade;

* $2.6-Million from the United nations Population Fund (UNFPA), World Health Organisation (WHO), Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Fred Hallows Foundation,

Australian Volunteers International, Global Alliance for Vaccines and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) under the Ministry of Health and Medical services;

* $11.9-Million from the Republic of China (Taiwan) to fund two dormitories at the Sab Isidro Centre and funding for the Rural Constituency Development Fund (RCDF) under the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet;

* $0.1-Million from the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for house rent and remuneration for University students on holiday employment under National Judiciary;

* $0.1-Million from the European Union (EU-GIZ ACSE) for the remuneration of the In-country Coordinator and assistant Project  Coordinator under the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology;

* $6.9-Million from the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for maintenance of the new Ministry of Finance and Treasury building as well as other additional operating costs; and

* $$1.7-Million from the Government of Italy to support solar electrification in rural schools under the Ministry of Mines and energy.

Parliament resumed this morning after a two weeks recess to allow the Prime Minister, Hon Manasseh Sogavare to travel to Papua New Guinea for the final leg of his second Melanesian Spearhead Group capital visit.

The recess was also to allow the Public Accounts Committee to enquire into this supplementary appropriation bill and also for the Bills and Legislation committee to enquire into other bills that have been submitted for scrutiny.

Source: PM’s Press Secretariat