The Parliament’s oversight role to monitor and oversee Government and Sate expenditure will soon be strengthened if the Public Finance Amendment Bill is passed into law.
The Bill will amend the Public Finance Management Act and was gazetted last week to align the management of public finances with provisions of the Constitution.
“The National Assembly shall, through parliamentary portfolio committees, monitor and oversee expenditure by the State and all Commissions and institutions and agencies of government at every level, including statutory bodies, Government-controlled entities, provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities, in order to ensure that — (a) all revenue is accounted for; (b) all expenditure has been properly incurred; and (c) any limits and conditions on appropriations have been observed,” reads part of the Bill.
The Speaker of Parliament will also designate Parliamentary Portfolio Committees according to Government portfolios, to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of Government departments.
The Parliamentary Committee on Budgets shall deal with representations by commissions and other constitutional entities as to the funds to be allocated to them in each financial year.
The Public Accounts Committee will be mandated to examine the financial affairs and accounts of Government departments, State owned enterprises, provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities.
If passed into law, the Bill will also see the President authorise the release of money from the Consolidated Revenue Fund to sustain Government services if Parliament has been dissolved before making provisions for the release of such funds.
“If at any time Parliament has been dissolved before any provision or sufficient provision has been made in terms of Chapter 17 of the Constitution or this Act for the carrying on of the Government of Zimbabwe, the President may authorise the issue of money from the Consolidated Revenue Fund for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on the services of the Government until three months after the National Assembly first meets after the dissolution,” reads part of the amendments contained in the Bill.
Chapter 17 of the Constitution empowers Parliament to monitor and oversee expenditure by Government and agencies,