On the morning of 27th August 2019, the State Minister for Finance, Hon. David Bahati appeared before the Budget Committee of Parliament to present the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2019. The committee was chaired by Hon. Opolot Isiagi Patrick, the Deputy Committee Chairperson.
The object of the bill is to provide for supplementary appropriation out of the consolidated fund under Article 156(3) of the Constitution and Section 25 of the Public Finance management Act, a sum of one trillion, seven hundred nine billion, four hundred forty million, and two hundred eighty eight thousand shillings.
The committee stood over the consideration of the Supplementary Appropriation bill. It was observed that the supplementary appropriation for FY 2017/18 was supposed to be presented to Parliament not later than the end of FY 2018/19 (within a period of 1year) as required by the Constitution. Currently, the Constitution and Public Finance Management Act do not provide for authorization of a supplementary appropriation for any expenditure that has exceeded a period of one year.
The committee Chairperson stressed that it was difficult to process the bill since the Ministry of Finance did not act within the existing legal provisions. Hon. Bahati admitted that the bill was tabled behind schedule and requested the Committee to look into it. The Minister informed the Committee that he would make further consultations with the Attorney General to see how the issue can be handled within the law.
The Committee is to report Parliament about the dilemma encountered while processing the bill. Whether or not the supplementary appropriation will be processed by the Committee now predominantly depends on what shall be resolved on the floor of Parliament.