The presiding officer of the House of Representatives in Thursday’s session, Rep. Josephine M. G. Francis (Montserrado County District #1), says the submission of the 2017/2018 Fiscal Budget, which should have been made on Monday, May 1, will be delayed for two weeks, citing a letter from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP).
She, however, did not give details for the actual reason for the rescheduling of the MFDP’s submission of the National Budget to the House.
According to the Public Finance Management Act of 2009 (PFM) and the House’s Rules and Procedures, the Annual Budget – which includes revenue estimates and proposals for government expenditure – should be submitted on April 30, two months before the expiration of the current financial year on June 30.
Some lawmakers said the delay is in breach of Section 11(1) of the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act of 2009, and their rules.
They said the procrastination would inconvenience them because the Presidential and Legislature Elections would be less than six months from the date of the submission.
Another group of lawmakers said it is in the spirit of coordination and nationalism that the members of the House have resolved to live up to the May 15 deadline of the submission of the National Budget.
It may be recalled that last year, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), Boima Kamara, delayed to submit the Draft National Budget (2016/2017) by two weeks. That budget was to the tune of US$555.9 million, comprising of US$495.5 million for Core Domestic Revenue; US$30.2 million as Grants; and US$30.1 million as Contingent Domestic Revenue.