Parliamentary report accuses Cabinet of financial violations [Archives:2006/1010/Local News]

December 25 2006

SANA'A, Dec. 24 – Parliament released a report last Wednesday accusing the government of hiding customs revenues the Ministry of Endowment and Guidance received from Hajj pilgrims as part of the 2007 budget.

It accused the government of selling the endowment's estate and refusing to establish a general health security authority for employees. However, it vowed to implement the health security project before May 2005.

The report confirmed the Ministry of Endowment and Guidance is investing the capitals of independent units, which included many authorities and funds, in the treasury bills. The Parliamentary committee, who studied the 2007 general budget, realized that sums of money were registered as part of the endowment ministry's budget to construct mosques, however the ministry only contributes partly to the construction of mosques.

The committee remarked that sale estimates of the agricultural crops coming from endowment-owned land declined by 51 percent, compared to that in the year 2006. It said the ministry continued registering sums as part of the land sales, contradicting the previous recommendations reached by parliament with regard to maintaining endowment property and money.

The parliamentary committee mentioned that the budget of the General Authority for Job Security and Pensions included extra estimates in different interest expenses. These estimates rose by 47 percent compared to that of 2006. There were no allocations for such expenses during the years 2003, 2004 and 2005, according to the committee. It suggested that the government should not make allocations for expenses of this kind.

The report, in light of which Parliament approved the state's 2007 general budget in last Thursday's session, pointed out the budget included YR 10 billion for workshops and meeting expenses, with an estimated increase of 66 percent from the previous year.

The parliamentary committee insisted on the government to establish a health security authority for state employees, and to fulfil promises it made two years ago.

Analyzing the budget allocated for the General Authority for Drugs and Medical Equipment, the committee discovered that much was allocated to this authority, which, according to the report, doesn't offer any medical and treatment services to citizens under the law. It said the authority's monitoring role of the quality and safety of drugs is poor.

The report criticized the government for not fulfilling the promises it made before Parliament when approving the state's general budget of the fiscal years 2004, 2005 and 2006. It said the government promised not to invest in the treasury bills because this policy contradicts the goals of funds and unites affiliated with the cabinet's ministries.

According to the parliamentary committee, the General Authority for Job Security and Pensions, the General Corporation for Social Security and the Interior Ministry's Pension Fund invest their capitals in the treasury bills.

The report, concerned with analyzing the project of the independent units' budgets, which were added to the 2007 budget, indicated that the independent units' revenues for the year 2007 totalled YR 174.7 million, with an estimated increase of 56 percent from 2006.

These revenues go to the Ministry of Endowment and Guidance, General Corporation for Social Security, the General Authority for Drugs and Medical Equipment, the General Authority for Specifications, Standards and Quality Control and the General Authority for Areas and Construction Planning. The last one of these authorities was listed among the independent units as of the fiscal year 2007 under the Republican Decree No. 35 issued in 2006.