The First Supplementary Estimates for this financial year hit a stumbling block at today’s sitting of Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee, PAAC.
The Committee decided not to take the estimates due to concerns over following fiscal procedures.
The supplementary estimates are critical in continuing the fight against COVID-19.
According to PAAC Chairman, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, the fiscal rules suggest the estimates are not properly before the committee without the input of the Auditor General.
Financial Secretary, Darlene Morrison, admitted to the committee that the ministry was still in the process of crafting a submission to the Auditor General.
However, North East St. Catherine MP, Leslie Campbell, suggested that prior advice from Ms. Morrison was that the opinion of the Auditor General wasn’t needed.
But, Ms. Morrison says the current situation differs.
East Kingston MP, Phillip Paulwell, also stated his objection to continuing with the supplementary estimates at this time.
Dr. McNeill subsequently adjourned the PAAC until a clear direction forward could be found.
The supplementary estimates are critical in Jamaica’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contigencies In Place – Finance Minister
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke, says contingencies are in place to ensure the passing of the First Supplementary Estimates.
He says he informed the parliament last week that a suspension of the fiscal rules would be required.
Dr. Clarke says this may mean a longer period to pass the estimates than is normally required.
Dr. Nigel Clarke, Minister of Finance and the Public Service.
He was speaking this afternoon in with Nationwide News.