Budget transfers

MINISTRY budgets should not be at the whim of any political influence.

That is the message from the Public Accounts Committee as its chairman Professor Biman Prasad yesterday warned ministers to strictly adhere to its given annual budgets.

The warning followed as the acting Auditor-General, Atunaisa Nadakuitavuki, highlighted to the committee that some ministries were transferring funds from their budgets without proper approvals and had no account of how the money was being used.

“The Parliament approves the budget and the ministry heads, permanent secretaries have the sole responsibility in administering the budget and they should not be politically influenced or make changes to the allocations at the whims of ministers,” Mr Prasad said.

He said in previous reports, the committee noted that directions came from ministers asking ministry officials to make changes to allocated budget.

“This has been highlighted by the Auditor-General.

“Therefore, the Public Accounts Committee highlighted this issue and reminded public servants that they are the implementers of Government policies and allocated budget and they should not be influenced by political agendas.

“This is important because if the civil servants, including the permanent secretaries do not adhere to the budget and implementation of budget, Government policies will fail.”

Mr Prasad said taxpayers should get value for their money and know how it had been used.

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