President’s office among big spenders

President Kiir poses 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.