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.