The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has charged Parliament to be vigilant in its oversight responsibility over the Executive arm of government before the latter’s spending gets out of hand.
“These are the times that we have been complaining about – government spending outside the budget, making promises of new projects that are not included in the budget and so if Parliament doesn’t start now by calling the executive to order, the situation may get out of hand by 2016. It is very dangerous as we are approaching an election year in 2016,” the Executive Director of the GII, Vitus Azeem remarked.
According to the GII, Ghana will be doomed if the Executive is not called to order especially with the election year fast approaching.
[contextly_sidebar id=”H3BckaH8TZ65D3RT3AfyvFhjj4aaV3gc”]It was revealed in Parliament on Tuesday that the Presidency exceeded its 2014 budget allocation by about 100%.
Parliament approved a ceiling of GHC 30 million for the seat of government but according to a report the Presidency sent to the the Finance Committee of Parliament, it spent over GHC 75 million between January and September only which is in excess of nearly GHC 45 million.
This development has once again given rise to the debate on government’s failure to ensure financial discipline in its spending despite the economic challenges the country is facing .
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Effutu, Alex Afenyo-Markin has accused the Presidency of undermining Parliament by securing extra funds on the blindside of the Legislature.
Mr. Afenyo-Markin questioned why the Finance Ministry, the Bank of Ghana and the Controller and Accountant General’s Department illegally aided the Presidency to overspend its allocated budget for the year.
In an interview with Citi News, Mr. Azeem said the Presidency gravely erred by failing to seek Parliamentary approval over the excess spending.
According to him, even if the Presidency failed to seek Parliamentary approval because the House was not in session, they should have updated Parliament when it resumed.
“Even if Parliament is not in session and they overspend, when Parliament resumes sitting, they are supposed to come back to Parliament and ask for endorsement of that expenditure,” he argued.
“And so if they have not done that, I think they have done something wrong and they need to ensure that such things are not repeated in the future,” he added.
Mr. Azeem further mentioned that the Flagstaff House is fully aware that it cannot spend public monies without the approval of Parliament “so they now need to go back to Parliament and get Parliament’s endorsement of the expenditure that will legalize the situation.”
By: Efua Idan Osam/citifmonline.com/Ghana