CHAPTER VI. FINANCE
69. Consolidated Fund
All revenue or other moneys raised or received by the Government (not being revenues or other moneys that are payable, by or under any law, into some other fund of the Government established for a specific purpose) shall be paid into and form a Consolidated Fund.
70. 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- No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund except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 law made in pursuance of section 72.
- where the issue of those moneys has been authorised by an appropriation law or by a law made in pursuance of section 72.
- Where any moneys are charged by this Constitution or any law enacted by Parliament upon the Consolidated Fund or any other public fund of the Government, they shall be paid out of that fund by the Government to the person or authority to whom payment is due.
- No moneys shall be withdrawn from any public fund of the Government other than the Consolidated Fund unless the issue of those moneys has been authorized by or under any law.
- There shall be such provision as may be made by Parliament prescribing the manner in which withdrawals may be made from the Consolidated Fund or any other public fund of the Government.
- The investment of moneys forming part of the Consolidated Fund shall be made in such manner as may be prescribed by or under a law enacted by Parliament.
- Notwithstanding subsection (1), provision may be made by or under a law enacted by Parliament authorizing withdrawals to be made from the Consolidated Fund, in such circumstance and to such entente as may be prescribed by or unbar a law enacted by Parliament, for the purpose of making repayable advances.
71. Authorization of expenditure from Consolidated Fund by the appropriation law
- The Minister for the time being responsible for finance shall cause to be prepared and laid before the National Assembly before, or not later than sixty days after, the commencement of each financial year estimates of the revenues and expenditure of the Government for that financial year.
- When the estimates of expenditure (other than expenditure charged upon the Consolidated Fund by this Constitution or by any law enacted by Parliament) have been approved by the National Assembly, a bill known as an appropriation bill, shall be introduced in the Assembly providing for the issue from the Consolidated Fund of the sums, under separate votes for the several services required, to the purposes specified therein.
- If in respect of any financial year it is found-
- that the amount appropriated by the appropriation law 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 law; or
- that any moneys have been expended for any purpose in excess of the amount appropriated to that purpose by the appropriation law or for a purpose to which no amount has been appropriated by that law, a supplementary estimate showing the sums required or spent shall be laid before the National Assembly and, when the supplementary appropriation 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.
72. Authorization of expenditure in advance of appropriation
There shall be such provisions as may be made by Parliament under which, if the appropriation law in respect of any financial year has not come into operation by the beginning of that financial year, the Minister for the time being responsible for finance may authorize the withdrawal of moneys from the Consolidated Fund 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 law, whichever is the earlier.
73. Warrants for unforeseen expenditure
- If it appears to the Minister for the time being responsible for finance that-
- there is an urgent need to incur expenditure;
- no provision exist for that expenditure in any appropriation law or other law; and
- it would not be in the public interest to delay the authorization of that expenditure until such time as a supplementary estimate can be laid before the National Assembly,
the Minister may, by special warrant, authorize the issue from the Consolidated Fund of the money required to meet that expenditure:
Provided that the total such for the time being authorized to be issued under this subsection, for which no provisions has been made by an appropriation law, shall not exceed such amount as may be prescribed by Parliament.
- Where in any financial year any expenditure has been authorized by special warrant under subsection (1) the Minister for the time being responsible for finance shall cause a supplementary estimate relating to that expenditure to be laid before the National Assembly at the first sitting of the Assembly occurring after the expiration of fourteen days from the date of the warrant and a supplementary appropriation bill shall be introduced in the Assembly providing for the issue of the sums authorized to be spent and appropriating them to the purposed specified therein.
74. Remuneration of certain officers
- There shall be paid to the holders of the offices to which this section applies such salaries and such allowances as may be prescribed by or under a law enacted by Parliament.
- The salaries and allowances prescribed under subsection (1) shall be a charge on the Consolidated Fund.
- The Salary prescribed under subsection (1) in respect of the holder of an office and his other terms of service (other than allowances that are not taken in to 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 office of the Governor-General, member of the Public Service Commission, member of the Police Service Commission, member of the Public Service Board of Appeal, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Director of Audit.
- Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting section 88 of this Constitution (which protects pensions rights in respect of service as a public officer).
75. Public Debt
- All debt charges for which the Government 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 amortization 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 the debt created thereby.
76. Audit of public accounts etc
- There shall be a Director of Audit whose office shall be a public office.
- The Director of Audit shall-
- 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 audit and report on the public accounts of the Government, the accounts of all officers and authorities of the Government, the accounts of all courts of law in Saint Christopher and Nevis (including any accounts of the Supreme Court maintained in Saint Christopher and Nevis), the accounts of every Commission and Board established by this Constitution and the accounts of the Clerk of the National Assembly.
- The Director of Audit and any officer authorized 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).
- The Director of Audit 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 the National Assembly first meets after he has received the report, lay it before the Assembly.
- If the Minister fails to lay a report before the National Assembly in accordance with subsection (4) the Director of Audit shall transmit copies of the report to the Speaker who shall, as soon as practicable, present them to the Assembly.
- The Director of Audit shall exercise such other functions in relation to the accounts of the Government or the accounts of other authorities or bodies established by law for public purposes as may be prescribed by or under any law enacted by Parliament.
- In the exercise of his function under subsection (2), (3), (4) and (5), the Director of Audit shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.