President’s office among big spenders

Daniel Danis | August 9, 2017 | 3:52 pmPresident Kiir pose for a photo in
his office | Photo | Wen Kon Awet

Some government agencies have continued to overspend their fiscal year
budget, while others do not get their allocations as per the Appropriation
Act, the Transitional Parliament of National Unity has said.

According to a report tabled before the August House Tuesday, the
institutions that have highly inflated their budget include the Office of
the President.

The Committee for Legislation and Legal Affairs says the provisions of the
act were not observed by the Ministry of Finance throughout the financial
year – 2016/2017.It also said no interim, quarterly, or annual progress
reports on spending were made public by the finance ministry headed by
Stephen Dhieu.

Doctor David Mayo, who presented the observation of the committee, says the
additional funds spent at the Office of the President and other agencies
were not approved by the parliament.

In the budget, the Office of the President was allocated 1.3 billion “but
the outturn is 3.2 billion.”

In response, the Press Secretary in the Office of the President, Ateny Wek
Ateny, acknowledged the overdraft.Mr. Ateny told Eye Radio that the
presidency often spends additional funds on activities that are not
predicted when budgets are being developed.“When a function comes up in
which the President has sent a given minister to represent the country,
they would rather choose to come to the Office of the President to ask for
funds,” Mr Ateny told Eye Radio.“Also, if the visit of the international
dignitaries increases than what has been budgeted for, the Office of the
President will request extra [funds] to meet the needs.”

The national parliament also observed that no approvals on most loans and
grants by the government were made through the parliament.

Dr. Mayo says other big spenders include the ministry of finance, ministry
of labor, ministry of mining, ministry of petroleum, and the ministry of
higher education.He added that there were no indications of overturn from
most spending agencies.

Last month, the Minister of Finance presented to the parliament the
Appropriation Bill 2017/2018, seeking approval for over 40 billion South
Sudanese Pounds.

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