Unused US$200K Vehicle Insurance Money Disturbs Capitol Hill

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US$200,000 intended for lawmakers’ vehicle insurance is creating serious concern among members of the House of Representatives, sources close to the Capitol Building have hinted.
The amount was placed in the 2014/15 Fiscal Budget with the aim of providing vehicle insurance for 71 representatives excluding House Speaker Alex Tyler and Deputy Hans Barchue.
For the Speaker and Deputy, national government is responsible to purchase vehicles for both officials, and as such, they are not covered under the insurance scheme.
The money was captured in last year’s Budget for insurance purposes, but lawmakers have protested that the “amount was not expended during the period, and as such, the Ways, Means and Finance Committee must account for it,” our sources said.
This position taken by many lawmakers forced the House leadership to hold session late Tuesday evening in an effort to resolve the situation.
Even though the burial of the late Sheikh Kafumba Konneh may have had an impact on the lawmakers’ gathering Tuesday, sources said the insurance matter was cardinal and a majority of the members trooped in to have a say in the conversation.
The late session lasted for hours behind closed doors, but the matter still could not be resolved, forcing an abrupt adjournment.
Lawmakers were seen walking out in a very unhappy mood, while several pockets of discussions were spotted in the corridors, involving some representatives and members of the House leadership.
Some lawmakers are now tightlipped probably because of the players involved with expenditure, our sources observed. “Many lawmakers are of the conviction that the committees on Ways, Means and Finance including the Rules, Order and Administration must provide details of the public resources.”
What is unclear, our sources asserted, is that, “it has not been established that the money was misused, diverted or that it is in the House of Representatives’ account.”
Meanwhile, since Tuesday’s session did not meet the required objective, the House called an extraordinary session yesterday to highlight the passage of the 2015/2016 National Budget.

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