What the chief justice ruled
The section on Financial Procedures in the Standing Orders of the National Assembly is the same today as it was in 1969. In that year the Standing Orders were amended, no doubt to bring them in line with the provisions of the Independence Constitution of 1966. The Standing Orders had been approved by the same National Assembly which had approved the Independence Constitution.
The Financial Procedures provide for each head of expenditure to be “considered” and “decided” by the National Assembly. It specifically provides for amendments to increase or reduce any head of expenditure. In accordance with the constitution, it states that an amendment to increase may only be moved by a minister who must signify cabinet approval. No such requirement exists in relation to an amendment to reduce. Cabinet approval is therefore not necessary to reduce.
The constitutional foundation for the above powers given to the National Assembly by the Standing Orders was initially contained in Article 111 of the Independence Constitution. It provided for the Minister of Finance to lay before the National Assembly the estimates of revenues and expenditure and after approval by the Assembly for the …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.