EDITORIAL: Scrutinise all budgets

MPs in session.
MPs in session. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Treasury, government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) have formed a tendency to abuse the supplementary budget appropriation law by bringing to Parliament for rubber-stamping questionable expenditures after they have already occurred.

Article 223 of the Constitution allows the National Treasury to release to MDAs additional cash (from the Contingencies Fund) of up to 10 percent of their annual budgets and seek Parliament’s approval for it within two months of such expenditure.

Parliament on Tuesday rejected several supplementary expenditure items, among them the use of Sh126 million by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to buy vehicles for its new commissioners, arguing that cars left behind by previous commissioners were still usable.

MPs also rejected the Sh1.2bn released for payment of penalties to the Lake Turkana Wind Power, insisting the fine should have come from the Energy ministry’s budget. Also rejected was the Sh1 billion that the Executive used to pay salaries. In short, the rejection of the items by Parliament means taxpayers’ money has been spent without oversight. We expect the Auditor-General and Parliament to pick up the questionable expenditures, test them for probity and recommend appropriate action.