Opposition Leader Allen Chastanet on Monday urged Saint Lucia’s government to rethink its decision to change the Public Financial Management Act when Parliament convenes on Tuesday, saying it would put the island on a bad footing. “backwards track in the management of public expenditure”.
In a statement, Chastanet said the legislation that was passed by his administration in 2020,. Part of a broader reform to strengthen public financial management and has been welcomed by the international donor community.
He said the bill has set out the rules, systems and processes for raising public funds, allocating public funds, facilitating public expenditures, proper accounting and reporting of such expenditures and auditing. results at the end of the cycle.
“This law is part of a well-functioning government to ensure that funds are managed in a planned, recorded and reported manner effectively and efficiently.
“Yet we learn that the administration of the Saint Lucia Labor Party (SLP) intends to make several amendments to this law which will give more power to the Minister of Finance, less control over government spending and even less responsibility.”
He said that among the amendments are the deadline for presenting the budget, the number of supplementary budgets that can be presented in a year and the reallocation of capital expenditure without control.
Chastanet said the island has been praised by the international community for its efforts towards adopting the fiscal rules and formulating a sound fiscal policy that included financial transparency, planning, reporting and accountability. .
“The changes made by the current administration are setting us back and weakening public trust and good governance. When we passed this law, it replaced the often problematic Finance (Administrative) Law and was part of a wider reform aimed at strengthening public financial management,” Chastanet noted.
“We have worked hard to ensure that Saint Lucia is in line with international best practices in public finance management and that is now under threat,” he said, noting that despite what he said in In the past, the government had indicated its intention to kill the bills. through all their stages in one session.