A total of approximately $85 million in supplementary funding was approved last evening by the National Assembly for the Public Procurement Commission and the Public Service Appellate Tribunal.
Among the supplementary funding requests in Financial Paper No. 2 was for some $54,173,070 under current expenditure to provide for the chairperson, deputy chairperson, three commissioners, assistant accountant, auditor, engineer, IT specialist, and a procurement specialist for the Public Procurement Commission for the months of August to December, 2017.
It was also related that the sum caters for other costs, such as rent, security, telephone, electricity, water, materials, equipment and supplies, fuel, local travel and subsistence, vehicle spares, janitorial and cleaning supplies, equipment maintenance and cleaning and extermination and training for the months of August to December.
Under capital expenditure, $7,946,000 was requested, which is said to cover the capital subvention for the Commission for the purchase of a vehicle, computers, equipment, and accounting and payroll software.
PPP/C Member of Parliament (MP) Anil Nandlall enquired about the cost for the rental of the building that will be used to house the Commission, which Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo gave as $1.2M per month.
Meanwhile, for the Public Service Appellate Tribunal, $17,553,272 in funding was requested under current expenditure to provide salaries for a Chairman, who was employed with effect from May 17, 2017, two members, a legal assistant, an accounts clerk, who were employed on June 19, 2017, and an administrative assistant and cleaner.
Questions were raised by PPP/C Chief Whip Gail Teixeira about the amount of money that was being received by the Chairman and each of the two members. Nagamootoo said that $1.25M is being paid to the Chairman and $350,000 to each of the other two members.
While the opposition sought to have the persons being employed by the Tribunal identified, the idea was quickly put down by Speaker Barton Scotland, who related that they should stick to the protocols that they were following and stay away from calling names.
A request was also made for some $5 million under capital expenditure for the purchase of equipment and office furniture for the 13 members of staff, which includes computers, cubicles, chairs, a server, a photocopier, a fire extinguisher, two air conditioners and four filing cabinets.
The requests were eventually put to votes and were subsequently approved by government members using their majority.