The Ways, Means, Finance and Budget Committee in the Liberian Senate say it has no idea whether or not President George Weah has approved of the national budget sent to the Executive.
The revelation was made by the committee’s Chairperson, Morris Saytumah, when he stated in plenary yesterday that he has no knowledge if the fiscal budget passed by the Liberian Senate has been approved by the President.
The expression of the Budget Committee’s chairperson apparently charged members of the Liberian Senate to further demand the copies of the approved budget that is currently in use.
There is an insinuation that the Executive Branch of government has since failed to approve the fiscal budget, yet, it has begun expending, something the Senate termed as gross violation of the Constitution of Liberia that needs Legislative attention.
Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon then proposed that the Senate’s requisite committee be made to provide copies of the approved printed budget to the Senators.
As per law, the Executive formulates the draft budget that is submitted to the Legislature for appropriation and when it is passed and forwarded back to the Executive, the President approves it and then it is printed into handbills and become a public instrument.
When the debate got heated with the Chairperson on the Ways, Means, Finance and Budget nearly drowning in explanation, the committee’s Co-Chair, Prince Moye, in a rather furious mood told Dillon and others that the senator does not work with the Executive.
Moye then assured that the committee will give clarity and will also get copies for members of the Senate but if there isn’t any, he added, “We will report to this plenary that we did not get any and that we will give the Senate the power to summon those clothed with mandate to explain.”
Even though Senator Saytumah failed to respond further, on behalf of the Ways, Means and Finance Committee, Pro-temp Chie apologized and said, “I am aware that the budget has been passed.”
Meanwhile, in what appeared to be an angry mood, the Senate Pro-temp calmed his colleagues and told them not to bother the Executive even if it fails to provide copies, but threatened to take a decision that would see huge portion of government officials removed when the Executive returns for budget recast period.
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