CHAPTER X. FINANCE
110. Consolidated Fund
All revenues or other moneys raised or received for the purposes of the government of Lesotho (not being revenues or other moneys that are payable, by or under an Act of Parliament, into some other fund established for any specific purpose or that may, by or under such an Act, be retained by the authority that received them for the purpose of defraying the expenses of that authority) shall be paid into and form a Consolidated Fund.
111. Withdrawals from Consolidated Fund or other public funds
- No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund except–
- to meet expenditure that is charged upon the Fund by this Constitution or by any Act of Parliament; or
- where the issue of those moneys has been authorised by an Appropriation Act or by an Act made in pursuance of section 113 of this Constitution.
- Where any moneys are charged by this Constitution or any Act of Parliament upon the Consolidated Fund or any other public fund, they shall be paid out of that fund by the Government of Lesotho to the person or authority to whom payment is due.
- No moneys shall be withdrawn from any public fund other than the Consolidated Fund unless the issue of those moneys has been authorised by or under any law.
- Parliament may prescribe the manner in which withdrawals may be made from the Consolidated Fund or any other public fund.
- The investment of moneys forming part of the Consolidated Fund shall be made in such manner as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament.
- Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), provision may be made by or under an Act of Parliament authorising withdrawals to be made from the Consolidated Fund, in such circumstances and to such extent as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament, for the purpose of making repayable advances.
112. Authorisation of expenditure from Consolidated Fund by appropriation
- The Minister for the time being responsible for finance shall cause to be prepared and laid before both Houses of Parliament in each financial year estimates of the revenues and expenditure of Lesotho for the next following financial year.
- When the estimates of expenditure (other than expenditure charged upon the Consolidated Fund by this Constitution or by any Act of Parliament) have been approved by the National Assembly, a bill, to be known as an Appropriation bill, shall be introduced in the Assembly, providing for the issue from the Consolidated Fund of the sums necessary to meet that expenditure and the appropriation of those sums, under separate votes for the several heads of expenditure approved, to the purposes specified therein.
- If in respect of any financial year it is found–
- that the amount appropriated by the Appropriation Act to any purpose is insufficient or that a need has arisen for expenditure for a purpose to which no amount has been appropriated by that Act; or
- that any moneys have been expended for any purpose in excess of the amount appropriated to that purpose by the Appropriation Act or for a purpose to which no amount has been appropriated by that Act,
a supplementary estimate or, as the case may be, a statement of excess showing the sums required or spent shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament and, when the supplementary estimate or statement of excess has been approved by the National Assembly, a supplementary Appropriation bill shall be introduced in the Assembly, providing for the issue of such sums from the Consolidated Fund and appropriating them to the purposes specified therein.
113. Authorisation of expenditure in advance of appropriation
Parliament may make provision under which, if it appears to the Minister for the time being responsible for finance that the Appropriation Act for any financial year will not come into operation by the beginning of that financial year, he may authorise the withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund of moneys for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on the government of Lesotho in respect of the period commencing with the beginning of that financial year and expiring four months thereafter or on the coming into operation of the Act, whichever is the earlier:
- the moneys so authorised to be withdrawn in advance of the Appropriation Act for any financial year shall not exceed in total one-third of the sums included in the estimates of expenditure for the proceeding financial year that have been laid before the Assembly;
- no sums shall be so authorised to be withdrawn to meet expenditure on any head of expenditure in that financial year if no sums had been voted to meet expenditure on that head of expenditure in respect of the preceding financial year; and
- any moneys so withdrawn shall be included, under separate votes for the several heads of expenditure in respect of which they were withdrawn, in the Appropriation Act.
114. Contingencies Fund
- Parliament may make provision for the establishment of a Contingencies Fund and for authorising the Minister for the time being responsible for finance, if satisfied that there has arisen an urgent and unforseen need for expenditure for which no other provision exists, to make advances from that Fund to meet that need.
- Where any advance is made from the Contingencies Fund, a supplementary estimate shall be presented and a supplementary Appropriation bill shall be introduced as soon as possible for the purpose of replacing the amount so advanced.
115. Remuneration of certain officers
- There shall be paid to the holders of the offices to which this section applies such salary and such allowances as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament.
- The salaries and allowances prescribed in pursuance of this section in respect of the holders of the offices to which this section applies shall be a charge on the Consolidated Fund.
- The salary prescribed in pursuance of this section in respect of the holder of any office to which this section applies and his other terms of service (other than allowances that are not taken into account in computing, under any law in that behalf, any pension payable in respect of his service in that office) shall not be altered to his disadvantage after his appointment.
- When a person’s salary or other terms of service depend upon his option, the salary or terms for which he opts shall, for the purposes of subsection (3), be deemed to be more advantageous to him than any others for which he might have opted.
- This section applies to the offices of the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the National Assembly, a judge of the High Court, a member of the Independent Electoral Commission, a member of the Public Service Commission, an appointed member of the Judicial Service Commission, the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Auditor General, the Ombudsman and such other similar offices as may be established by or under this Constitution.
- Nothing in this section shall be construed as prejudicing the provisions of section 150 of this Constitution (which protects pensions rights in respect of service as a public officer).
116. Public debt
- All debt charges for which Lesotho is liable shall be a charge on the Consolidated Fund.
- For the purposes of this section debt charges include interest, sinking fund charges, the repayment or amortisation of debt and all expenditure in connection with the raising of loans on the security of the Consolidated Fund and the service and redemption of debt created thereby.
- There shall be an Auditor-General whose office shall be an office in the public service.
- It shall be the duty of the Auditor-General–
- to satisfy himself that all moneys that have been appropriated by Parliament and disbursed have been applied to the purposes to which they were so appropriated and that the expenditure conforms to the authority that governs it; and
- at least once in every year to audit and report on the public accounts of the Government of Lesotho, the accounts of all officers and authorities of that Government, the accounts of all courts in Lesotho, the accounts of every Commission established by this Constitution and the accounts of the Clerk to each House of Parliament.
- The Auditor-General and any officer authorised by him shall have access to all books, records, returns, reports and other documents that in his opinion relate to any of the accounts referred to in subsection (2) and to all cash, stamps, securities, stores and other property of whatever kind that he considers it necessary to inspect in connection with any of those accounts and that is in the possession of any officer or authority of the Government of Lesotho.
- The Auditor-General shall submit every report made by him in pursuance of subsection (2) to the Minister for the time being responsible for finance who shall, not later than seven days after each House of Parliament first meets after he has received the report, lay it before that House.
- The Auditor-General shall exercise such other functions in relation to the accounts of the Government of Lesotho or the accounts of other authorities or bodies established by law for public purposes as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament.
- In exercise of his functions under subsections (2), (3) and (4) the Auditor-General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.