By Emperor Bailor Jalloh in Freetown
The deriving legal mandate from Section 112 of Sierra Leone Constitution Act No. 6, 1991 and Standing Orders ( SO) 63 /64 of Standing Orders ( Revised) of the Sierra Leone Parliament, the Parliamentary Appropriation Subcommittee Five (5) / Group Five ( 5) under the Committee of Supply of the Sierra Leone Parliament has rounded up days of budgetary allocation expenditure scrutiny hearings for the financial year 2021 as the third legal procedure before Parliamentary approval of the Appropriation Act,2022 Bill / 2022 National Budget from November 30 to December 8, 2021, in the Library and State Hall of Parliament, Tower Hill in Freetown, the first capital city of Sierra Leone.
Group Five which was chaired by Hon. Nenneh Lebbie and deputised by Hon. Sahr Juana was able to scrutinise the Cabinet Secretariat, Medical and Dental Council, National Assets and Government’s Property Commission, Sierra Leone Meteorological Agency, Koinadugu District Council, Accountant General Department, and Sierra Leone Standards Bureau to know how they expended their 2021 national budget allocation and also to know their institutional challenges and way forward.
In their opening statements of each hearing, Hon. Nenneh Lebbie and her deputy Hon. Sahr Juana repeatedly told their witnesses ( Government officials) before them that the budgetary allocation expenditure scrutiny was not witch-hunting but to know how they expended the Tax Payers’ Money / the People’s Money and also to know their challenges and way forward all to be captured in their Committee reports to Parliament.
Group Five Members :
1. Hon. Nenneh Lebbie – Chairperson
2. Hon. Sahr Juana- deputy Chairman
3. Hon. Amara Haja
4. Hon. Ibrahim Aziz Bangura
5. Hon. Momoh Bockarie
6. Hon. Moigua Peter Musa
7. Hon. Wuyatta Bernadette Songa
8. Hon. Yamba Koroma
9. Hon. Mohamed Bangura
10. Hon. Isaac Tarawallie
11. Hon. P.C. Bai Shebora Sheba Gbereh III
12. Hon. Abdulai Daniel Sesay ( Dr.)
S.O. 63 Presentation, First Reading and Second Reading of Appropriation Bill-
(1) There shall be submitted to Parliament by the Minister of Finance before the beginning of the fiscal year to which it refers a budget which shall include the documents delineated in subsection 23 of the Government Budgeting and Accountability Act, ( Act No. 3 of 2005).
S.O. 64 Committee of Supply
(1) There shall be a Committee of the Whole House to be called Committee of Supply. The deliberations of the committee shall be in public.
(2) Without prejudice to the mandate of the Finance Committee in these Orders, the Estimates shall upon presentation to the House stand referred to the Committee of Supply and the Appropriation Bill upon being read a second time shall stand committed to that Committee.
(3) To enhance the effectiveness of the scrutiny of Heads of Expenditure by the whole House, the Committee of Supply shall, pursuant to subsection (6) of Section 112 of the Constitution, incorporate scrutiny by a number of Appropriation Subcommittees formed out of organising the Membership of Parliament into groups.
Section 112 (1) Subject to the provisions of section 107 of this Constitution, the Minister for the time being responsible for finance shall cause to be prepared and laid before Parliament in each financial year estimates of the revenues and expenditures of Sierra Leone for the next following financial year.
(6) Parliament shall prescribe the procedure for the presentation of Appropriation Bills.
Conclusively, the Parliamentary Appropriation Subcommittee Five/ Group Five of Sierra Leone Parliament which derived its legal mandate from the aforementioned legal provisions has rounded up days of budget scrutiny in Freetown.