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Parliament Gives Green Light to 2020 Adjustments Appropriation Bill

August 6, 2020

Parliament

Parliament has passed the 2020 Adjustments Appropriation Bill and sent it to president Ramaphosa for assent.

The national assembly passed the bill and sent it to the national council of provinces for concurrence at the end of last week.

The bill was tabled in parliament on 24 June 2020 as part of the Special Adjustments Budget in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Adjustments Appropriation Bill aims to:


• effect adjustments to the appropriation of money from the National Revenue Fund for the requirements of the State in respect of the 2020/21 financial year; and
• provide for matters incidental thereto.

The standing committee on appropriations earlier sought comment on a proposed amendment to Section 6 of the Appropriation Act of 2020.

The proposed amendment makes reference to the second Adjustments Appropriation Bill to be introduced in parliament during the 2020 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement.

According to the standing committee on appropriations’ committee report, the amendment is necessary to allow for the possible use of funds from the contingency reserve prior to the tabling of the second Adjustments Appropriation Bill in October 2020.

Currently, section 6 of the Appropriation Act of 2020 cannot be used due to the tabling of the first Adjustments Appropriation Bill as part of the supplementary budget tabled on 24 June 2020.

The select committee on appropriations passed the bill without amendments.

In its report, the committee called on national treasury and the planning, monitoring and evaluation department to strengthen monitoring mechanisms for budget expenditure and programme performance, in particular for funds made available to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Corruption and illegal activities absolutely cannot be tolerated and drastic measures need be taken to enhance departmental internal controls and financial management to detect and prevent financial mismanagement, fraud and corruption.”

In a statement, parliament confirmed that 36 delegates to the NCOP voted in favour of the bill while 23 voted against it – with abstentions.

In another statement, parliament pointed out that the Ad Hoc Committee on the Appointment of the Auditor-General has shortlisted eight candidates to be considered for the position of Auditor-General.

According to the statement, the committee will “conduct comprehensive background checks on all the candidates to ensure that a credible outcome is achieved”.