Amendment to Fiscal Management & Accountability Act (FMAA) tabled by Finance Minister

allows for streamlining of budget process for Constitutional Agencies
-ensures Parliament has comprehensive view of Budget in approval process  

An Amendment to the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act (FMAA) to ensure the streamlining of the budget process in relation to constitutional agencies was today tabled in the National Assembly by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh.

 The critical piece of legislation cited as the Fiscal Management and Accountability (Amendment) Act 2021 seeks to amend the FMAA Chapter 73:02 to allow for the correction of a number of anomalies relating to the budget process applicable to constitutional agencies.

According to the Finance Minister the amendment is necessary as it ‘seeks to streamline the Budget process particularly in relation to constitutional agencies while simultaneously ensuring the preservation of the independence of the agencies’.

Arising from the 2015 amendment to the FMAA by the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC), constitutional agencies’ budgets were required to be sent to the National assembly in advance of the submission of the rest of the National Budget. This two-stage process resulted in a fragmented and inefficient process for consideration of the National Budget and denied the Parliament an opportunity to view and consider the budget in a comprehensive manner.   

The proposed amendment is important as well especially with Budget 2021 in its preparation mode and slated for presentation to the National Assembly in February, 2021.  

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