Parliament’s Committee of Supply this afternoon voted down the entire proposed expenditure for administrative services under the Office of the President which also includes funds budgeted for GINA and the National Communications Network (NCN).
Following questions poses by various opposition members to Minister in the Ministry of Finance Juan Edghill, a decision was taken and the combined opposition voted against the proposed $1.3B that was being requested.
Chairman of the committee Raphael Trotman said nothing has however been cut since the committee does not have that power but rather it is the National Assembly.
It was revealed that the $135M that was budgeted last year for GINA and the $81M for NCN and which was cut by parliament was actually spent. APNU Carl Greenidge questioned under what authority this was done and Attorney General Anil Nandlall said this was done under the constitution following the ruling of acting Chief Justice Ian Chang. In that ruling Justice Chang had indicated that while the National Assembly had the right to approve or disprove of the estimates it did not have the authority to cut.
The opposition has repeatedly warned that it would cut allocations to GINA and NCN as neither agency is showing the type of professionalism required.