CHAPTER XVIII. FINANCE
No tax, rate, duty, levy or imposition shall be raised, levied or imposed by or for the purposes of the Government or any local government authority otherwise than by or under the authority of the law.
172. The Consolidated Fund
All revenues or other moneys raised or received for the purposes of the Government shall, subject to this Constitution and any Act of Parliament, be paid into and form one Fund, to be known as the Consolidated Fund.
173. Withdrawal of money from the Consolidated Fund
- No money shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund except—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 consistent with this Constitution; or
- where the issue of those moneys has been authorized by an Appropriation Act, a Supplementary Appropriation Act or by an Act made in pursuance of subsection (5) of this section or of sections 178, 179, 180, 181 or 182 or by a resolution of the National Assembly made in accordance with section 177:Provided that this subsection shall not apply to any sums mentioned in section 183 (3).
- Where any moneys are charged by this Constitution or by any Act of Parliament upon the Consolidated Fund, they shall be paid out of that Fund by the Minister responsible for Finance to the person or authority to whom the payment is due.
- No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund except in the manner prescribed by the National Assembly.
- The investment of moneys forming part of the Consolidated Fund by way of deposit with a bank or such other secure investment as may be approved by the National Assembly shall not be regarded as a withdrawal of those moneys from the Consolidated Fund for the purposes of this Constitution.
- Notwithstanding subsection (1), provisions may be made by or under an Act of Parliament authorizing withdrawals to be made from the Consolidated Fund, in such circumstances and to such extent as may be prescribed by or under such Act of Parliament, for the purpose of making allowances to persons or authorities other than the Government:Provided that no moneys shall be advanced from the Consolidated Fund under this subsection save on condition that they are repayable by the person or authority to whom or on behalf of whom they are advanced.
- This section shall not apply with respect to—
- the proceeds of Government loan raised for a specific purpose under an Act of Parliament;
- money or interest received by the Government subject to a trust;
- advance drawings and repayments of those drawings, authorized by the National Assembly; and
- such special funds under this Constitution where it is specified that this section should not apply.
174. Expenditure charged on the Consolidateed Fund
- There shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund in addition to any grant, remuneration or other moneys so charged by this Constitution or any Act consistent with this Constitution—
- all debt charges for which the Government is liable;
- all pensions, compensations for loss of office and gratuities for which the Government is liable;
- any moneys required to satisfy any judgment, decision or award made or given against the Government by any court or tribunal other than those provided for in the National Compensation Fund; and
- all moneys or debt charges charged before the appointed day upon the revenues or public funds of Malawi.
- For the purposes of this section, “debt charges” includes interest, sinking fund charges, the repayment or amortization of debt, and all expenditure in connexion with the raising of loans on the security of the Consolidated Fund and the service and redemption of debt thereby created.
175. Annual estimates
- The Minister responsible for Finance shall lay before the National Assembly a statement of the estimated receipts and the expenditure of the Government in respect of that financial year, other than the sums specified in subsection (3).
- The statement of estimates shall be laid before the National Assembly in respect of every financial year and shall be so laid before the commencement of that financial year.
- Where the National Assembly does not propose to debate the estimates until after the commencement of the financial year to which they relate, the estimates of the revenue may be laid before the National Assembly at any time before the commencement of such debate.
- The estimates of expenditure shall show separately—
- the total sums required to meet the expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund; and
- the sums respectively required to meet the heads of other expenditure proposed to be met from the Consolidated Fund.
- The sums to be shown in the estimates of receipts and expenditure shall not include—
- sums representing the proceeds of any loan raised by the Government for a specific purpose and appropriated for that purpose by the Act authorizing the raising of the loan;
- sums representing any money or interest on money received by the Government subject to a trust and to be held or applied in accordance with the terms of that trust;
- sums representing moneys authorized to be advanced from the Consolidated Fund under an Act of Parliament and repayments thereof; and
- sums representing moneys received for or to be applied from any special fund established and regulated by this Constitution or by an Act of Parliament which provides that subsections (1) and (4) shall not apply to that fund.
176. Appropriation Bills
When the estimates of expenditure to be met from the Consolidated Fund, but not charged thereon, 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 in the Bill.
177. Supplementary appropriations
- If in respect of any financial year it is found—
- that the amount appropriated by the Appropriation Act for any purpose is insufficient, or that a need has arisen for expenditure for a purpose for which no amount has been appropriated by the Appropriation Act; or
- that any moneys have been expended for any purpose in excess of the amount (if any) appropriated for that purpose by the Appropriation Act,
a supplementary estimate showing the sums required or spent shall be laid before the National Assembly and the heads of any such expenditure shall be included in a Supplementary Appropriation Bill or in a motion or motions approving such expenditure.
- Where any supplementary expenditure has been approved in a financial year by a resolution of the National Assembly under subsection (1), a Supplementary Appropriation Bill shall be introduced in the National Assembly as soon as practicable after the commencement of the financial year next following, providing for the appropriation of the sums so approved.
178. Authorization of expenditure in advance of appropriation
The National Assembly may make provision under which, if it appears to the Minister responsible for Finance that the Appropriation Act in respect of any financial year will not come into operation by the beginning of that financial year, he or she may authorize the withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund of moneys for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on the services of the Government until the expiration of four months from the beginning of that financial year or the coming into operation of the Appropriation Act, whichever is earlier:
Provided that provision for any moneys so withdrawn shall be included, under the appropriate heads, in the Appropriation Bill.
179. Contingency Fund
- The National Assembly may make provision for the establishment of a Contingencies Fund and for authorizing the Minister responsible for Finance, if he or she is satisfied that there has arisen an urgent and unforeseen 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, as soon as practicable, be presented to and voted by the National Assembly and a Supplementary Appropriation Bill or motion approving such expenditure in accordance with section 177 shall be introduced for the purpose of replacing the amount so advanced.
180. Raising of loans by the Government
- A loan may be raised by the Government under the authority of an Act of Parliament and not otherwise.
- Parliament may, in the Act authorizing the raising of a loan or by any other Act, appropriate the proceeds of the loan for specific purposes and authorize the payment of such proceeds out of the Consolidated Fund for such purposes.
181. Special funds and trust moneys
- An Act of Parliament may, subject to section 182, make provision for the creation of special funds which shall be accounted within the accounts of the Consolidated Fund and for the regulation or management of the moneys accounted in such special funds.
- An Act made in accordance with subsection (1) may provide that sections 175 (1) and 175 (4) shall not apply to any particular fund.
- Parliament may make provisions regulating the manner in which moneys or investments held by the Government subject to a trust are to be accounted for.
182. The Development Fund
- There shall be a special fund within the Consolidated Fund to be known as the Development Fund in which shall be accounted receipts and expenditure of the Government relating to the development of the Republic, which have not been included in the annual statement provided for in section 175, and estimates of such receipts and expenditure shall be submitted by the Minister responsible for Finance to the National Assembly not less than once a year.
- When the estimates of expenditure to be met from the Development Fund have been approved by the National Assembly, a Bill to be known as Appropriation (Development Fund) Bill shall be introduced in the National Assembly providing for the issue from the Development Fund and appropriation of the sums necessary to meet that expenditure.
183. The Protected Expenditure Fund
- There shall be a special fund within the accounts of the Consolidated Fund, to be known as Protected Expenditure Fund, upon which shall be charged certain protected expenditure.
- The Minister responsible for Finance shall, before the commencement of every financial year, make provision in the annual Appropriation Bill for the purpose of voting sums for the purposes of the fund under subsection (1) and such provision shall be passed without revision by the National Assembly, save where it is insufficient to meet the expenditure to be charged for the purposes of the fund, in which case the National Assembly may revise the Bill so as to accommodate the expenditure to be charged.
- No money shall be withdrawn from the Protected Expenditures Fund save in respect of the following classes of expenditure—
- the salaries, allowances and other benefits of the President and the First Vice-President;
- the salaries, allowances and other employment benefits of the Chief Justice, Justices of Appeal and judges of the High Court;
- the salary, allowances and other employment benefits of the Ombudsman; and
- the expenditure incurred to convene Parliament and to ensure the effective functioning of Parliament, including its committees.
184. Auditor General
- There shall be the office of the Auditor General who shall audit and report on the public accounts of Malawi, and shall exercise such other powers in relation to the public accounts and the accounts of public authorities and bodies as may be prescribed by an Act of Parliament, in so far as they are compatible with the principal duties of that office.
- The Auditor General shall submit reports at least once a year to the National Assembly, through the Minister responsible for Finance, not later than the first meeting of the National Assembly after the completion of the report.
- Appointment to the office of Auditor General shall be made by the President and confirmed by the National Assembly by a majority of the members present and voting but the Public Appointments Committee may at any time inquire as to the competence of the person so appointed to perform the duties of that office and as to the financial probity of a person so appointed, so far as it is relevant to the duties of that office.
- The office of the Auditor General shall become vacant after the person holding that office has served for five years, but the person holding that office may be nominated for such further term not exceeding five years, as the President deems appropriate.
- The office of the Auditor General shall be a public office.
- A person holding the office of Auditor General shall be subject to removal by the President only by reason of that person being—
- incompetent in the exercise of his or her duties;
- compromised in the exercise of his or her duties to the extent that his or her financial probity is in serious question;
- otherwise incapacitated; or
- over the retirement age.
- Subject to subsection (6) in the exercise of the duties and powers vested in the office of the Auditor General by this Constitution or any other law, the person holding that office shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.
- No person or authority may inhibit the Auditor General in the conduct of his or her functions and duties.