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Critical Salary & Staffing Pages Missing From 2014/2015 Budget

question-marksIn every annual Budget, each Ministry or Department has a main head salary and staff document page that lists the individual salaries of the Ministers, Senior Public officials and all employee groupings, as well as any changes in those salaries and number of persons employed.

In this Budget for the first time, those pages are missing – such that you are unable to see and know any changes in salary for Ministers or employees, as well as any changes in the numbers of persons employed in each Ministry and Department. It is not possible to analyze the Budget and know what the specific salary and staffing changes are with these budget pages missing.

What is going on here? This is not a “clerical error” Minister Halkitis, so do not bother coming with that story again. Each of these pages would had to have been physically removed from each of the 74 Heads (Ministries and Departments) of the Recurrent Budget as they are a standard part of the Budget.

And the Prime Minister or any other Cabinet Minister ought not try to blame a public officer for this either, as changes of these kinds cannot be made without Ministerial authorization. The Budget is not a clerical project or just a book of graphs and charts, it is a legal document; it is legislation that is compiled by a set protocol which is to involve the Minister of Finance at all material stages of changes/amendments. Public officers do not have the individual permission and/or ability to make certain changes to the Budget without Ministerial instruction and authorization, most notably where salaries/compensation are concerned.

These missing pages are essential to knowing what is specifically happening with salaries of Ministers and staff as well as the staff count. There is an $85.1 million increase in spending on the Recurrent Account – the same Account that the salary and staffing documents are missing from. Debate on the 2014/2015 Budget ought not commence until this critical budget information is produced.

Sharon Turner

Posted in Opinions

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