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Oulanyah Warns Govt Over Delayed Policy Statements

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah today put government on notice over delays in tabling ministerial policy statements warning that it might stall the budget process. The Public Finance Management Act PFMA 2015 requires government ministries, departments and agencies to present their ministerial policy statements to Parliament for scrutiny by March 15th. The same law sets a May 31st deadline for the conclusion of budget debates and all resource allocations.
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah.

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The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah today put government on notice over delays in tabling ministerial policy statements warning that it might stall the budget process.

The Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) 2015 requires government ministries, departments and agencies to present their ministerial policy statements to Parliament for scrutiny by March 15th. The same law sets a May 31st deadline for the conclusion of budget debates and all resource allocations.

However, with Parliament expecting to receive all ministerial policy statements today, Oulanyah noted that only three entities including the Parliamentary Commission, Ministry of Public Service and Ministry of Defence had availed their statements to the Clerk of Parliament, Jane Kibirige.

The Deputy Speaker warned that if the ministerial policy statements are delayed, it will impact on the 2018/2019 financial year budget approval process. He appealed for the immediate tabling of the policy statements by the government side to help facilitate the Opposition Shadow cabinet to produce alternative statements to the budget allocations.

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Oulanyah's statement was made during the plenary session in the absence ministers who were reported to be locked up in a cabinet meeting.

In 2017, the budget process for the 2017/2018 budget was also marred by delayed presentation of ministerial statements and errors, among others. These anomalies reduced the budget exercise to a formality as parliament struggled to meet the May 31st deadline.

Government then gave an excuse of the breakdown of the Program Based Budgeting (PBB) system which was adopted starting with the financial year 2017/2018. The Government said that the system then broke down at a critical time when ministries and government departments were supposed to present policy statements before parliament. 

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