Budget allocations for more entities scrutinised, approved |05 March 2021
The budget allocations for more departments and entities were scrutinised before being approved by the National Assembly during its sessions yesterday.
R15.740 million for the Anti-Corruption Commission of Seychelles (ACCS)
A budget amounting to R15.740 million for the Anti-Corruption Commission of Seychelles (ACCS) was the first to be approved by the National Assembly. This followed tough scrutiny by Assembly members during its morning session.
The Minister for Finance Naadir Hassan presented the budget for the commission which was defended by its chief executive May De Silva who also answered all the questions and clarifications from Assembly members.
Minister Hassan explained that out of the proposed sum, R10.456 million is for wages and salaries and will cover the wages and salaries of a number of new recruits for the commission.
R5.284 million has been earmarked for goods and services which will include the purchase of new equipment.
Among the numerous questions that members raised include the need for corruption cases to be brought before the Court.
Recognising the high public expectations to see the first corruption cases prosecuted, Ms De Silva explained that the commission works within a very specialised framework and she highlighted the numerous challenges which are preventing it from prosecuting cases.
She has called for the support and encouragement of Assembly members in their work.
Ms De Silva highlighted the need for more experienced and specialised human resources noting that the commission has already received some potential candidates.
She added that all the employees of the commission are Seychellois but they receive a lot of expert and specialist support from the European Union and other international anti-corruption commissions through various agreements the ACCS has.
Other questions were centred on effort to boost cyber-security of the commission, continued effort to find the missing US $50 million, the need to digitalise the ACCS operations, the new responsibility of the ACCS which is Ethics & Declaration of Assets, governance an independence of ACCS among others.
A R37.464 million budget for the National Assembly
Members of the National Assembly scrutinised and approved a budget amounting to R37.464 million for the management and running of the legislative institution.
The clerk of the National Assembly Tania Isaac and the director general for administration, finance and HR of the Assembly, Godfra Hermitte, defended the budget and answered questions and clarifications from members.
Ms Isaac explained that even though their budget has been reduced by R6 million their aim is to continue to deliver on their mandate to provide quality support services to all Assembly members, staff of the institution and members of the public.
Ms Isaac also informed members that the installation of solar panels on the roof of the National Assembly building has reduced their electricity bills by more than half.
She noted that the budget is also providing for five new recruits in the field of research and media operations.
Members’ questions centred on the need to upgrade and modernise the National Assembly’s chamber and equipment, security for Assembly members and premises, coverage of Assembly proceedings among other issues.
In its afternoon session the National Assembly scrutinised, discussed before approving a budget of:
R 7.706 million for the Department of Youth & Sports
Marie-Celine Zialor, the Minister for Youth, Sports and Family presented the above budget for the Assembly members’ scrutiny and consideration and assisted the PS for youth & sports, Fabian Palmyre, in answering members’ questions and clarifications pertaining to the department.
R13.323 million for the Department of Family
Minister Zialor also presented the proposed budget for the Department of Family Affairsand accompanied PS Marie-Josée Bonne in answering members’ queries and clarifications.
R67.61 million for the National Sports Council (NSC) was also approved. Another entity that falls under her portfolio, Minister Zialor presented the budget for Assembly consideration and was present alongside chief executive Jean Larue to answer members’ questions and clarifications that arose.
The National Assembly continues its deliberations this morning.