CSOs Oppose Amendments to the Public Finance Management Act 2015

Published By UNNGOF |  October 15, 2015

On October 13th 2015, Civil Society organizations under the Civil Society Budget Advocacy (CSBAG) Group tabled before the Parliament Finance Committee, their views on the Public Finance Management (Amendment) Bill, 2015. This move comes just a day after the Clerk to Parliament issued a communication recalling Members of Parliament from recess to debate and pass the amendments to the Public Finance Management Act, 2015.

The amendments seek to make changes to eight sections of the Principal Act, which the CSOs under their umbrella body, CSBAG, have since rejected saying the amendments weaken accountability in the country and exposes public funds to abuse. Some of the key critical questions to the Finance Committee were the hasty manner in passing the amendments and as such demanded time to allow for consultations with all stakeholders.  In addition, they further demanded that the current provisions of the law be preserved and improved and not amended in the manner of the current Bill.

While appearing to the committee, Hon. David Bahati the Minister of State for Planning defended the need for the amendments as they will ease operation of Government, an idea that did not receive warm reception from the CSOs. Further, the house requested the Hon Minister to provide enough justification for the amendments if the Principal Act should be amended.

The committee appreciated CSOs’ efforts and promised to consider their input as it prepares a report for presentation to Parliament. Further, some committee members requested the CSOs to popularize this process so that the entire country knows about the hasty amendments to the Public Finance Management Act and build momentum in advocating against the passing of the amendments.

By Aboneka Michael