Unforeseen expenditure budget's $4.7 million shortfall
Some $4.7 million taken from the Finance Ministry’s budget for unforeseen expenditure was never spent last Financial Year and has instread been transferred to a “special purposes account”.
The Cabinet originally budgeted a total of $16.4 million for unexpected expenses for the 2019-2020 Financial Year.
The Public Accounts for the Financial Year of 2019 reveal that the Ministry of Finance (M.O.F.) itself had budgeted for the most unforeseen expenditure with more than $5.8 million in their accounts.
By year’s end, they had only about 50 per cent of that allocation, including a $10,000 donation from the Government to the former Chief Justice, His Honor Patu Tiava'asu'e Falefatu Sapolu. Efforts to get direct comments from Patu or the Government on the nature of the donation were not successful.
A total of $3.75 million of the Government’s allocated sum was put to use including more than $1.9 million for the Pacific Games preparations and a grant of $1.75 million given to Samoa Trust Estate Corporation.
Another more than $36,700 was spent in preparation for a visit to Samoa by the President of the Asian Development Bank, Mr. Takehiko Nakao.
The second biggest unforeseen item of expenditure budgeted for was just over $3.3 million for the National Health Service. But by year’s end only about $1.2 million had been used while the remaining $2 million was sent to the Special Purposes Account.
Separately $2.05 million was approved for the Ministry of Health, of which $1.87 million was used by National Kidney Foundation which financed a new water treatment.
A total of more than $75,000 was approved to establish the commission that investigated the death of two babies who died after receiving their fatally, wrongfully prepared measles vaccine. Of that, $21,300 was financial assistance for the investigating committee, while the remaining $150,000 was allocated to relocate the hospital’s I.T. server and control room to a new building.
For the Ministry of Police, more than $235,00 was allocated for preparations for last year’s Pacific Games.
The compensation for the Ti’avea Village land, used for the new Ti’avea Airport amounted to more than $735,000. But it’s not clear whether this was part of the $4 million in funding allocated to the villagers in April last year to pay compensation for the loss of 26 acres.
Soe $20,000 was spent on an official visit by the Head of States to the National Remembrance Service in New Zealand for the victims of the Christchurch terrorism attack.
Also noted in the report was more than $55,000 to fund the “supplies of new passports” in 2019.
This Financial Year a total of more than $600,000 has been budgeted for providing Samoans with new passports. About 20,000 new passports are ordered bi-annually to accommodate the demands of citizens.
Just over $285,000 was approved for inspection reports for the head of State’s residence in Vailele.
Another $33,000 is allocated in the report “to represent Samoa in a World Rugby Union meeting held in Ireland. The number or identity of the attendees was not specified in the report.
A total of $475,000 was approved by Cabinet to assist with the monetary rewards for the ‘Ie Samoa and Siapo’ programme in celebration of Mother’s Day last year..
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