Teixeira flags irregularity in spending for Region 2
Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira today observed that there was an anomaly in the spending of State funds under the Region Two Administration last year when monies which were budgeted for one programme was used to finance another project.
According to the Estimates of the Public Sector, $4M was budgeted for the maintenance of buildings, however, more than $15M was expended for this purpose. Similarly, $5M was budgeted for maintenance of other infrastructure but over $10M was spent.
Teixeira highlighted this issue during the consideration of the estimates where she asked the subject minister, Ronald Bulkan to explain where the extra sums were sourced.
“Could the Honourable Minister say where did the money come from for this increase?” she questioned.
In response, the Communities Minister began to explain what the monies were used for, however, Teixeira interrupted to inform the House that the Minister was not answering her specific question.
Bulkan eventually explained that the extra sums were used from monies budgeted under another programme. Teixeira contended that this practice is “highly irregular”.
“This is highly irregular to be wiring from other programmes into another programme, that’s not allowed,” she stated.
Other Opposition Members of Parliament including Collin Croal, Ganga Persaud and Komal Chand took turns to scrutinise various aspects of the allocated sums.
Eventually, a budget of over $4B was approved for Region Two. Some $5B was also approved for Region Three following a series of questioning from the opposition parliamentarians.