The National, Friday July 19th, 2013
PARLIAMENT yesterday passed two key pieces of legislation – Treasury Bill (Amendment) Act 2012 and Attorney General Act 2013.
The Treasury Bills (Amendment) Act empowers the Minister for Treasury to issue Treasury Bills without seeking Parliament’s approval.
The amendment specifies the authority to borrow, that now empowers the minister or has the authority of borrowing funds on behalf of the state.
Key elements of the amendment include :
- The authority to borrow – an amendment that clearly specifies in the act the restrictions on the powers of borrowing to align with the Constitution under section 209 which requires raising of funds be authorised by parliament;
- Borrowing purposes – to guard against the risk of abuse, the borrowing power restricted by statement of the purpose for which the minister can borrow. That means the purpose for which the minister will issue Treasury Bills is specified clearly and the reason why the Treasury Bill should be issued, and
- Provides a clear definition of loan in relation to the issuance of Treasury Bill.
The Attorney General Act 2013 provides for the establishment of the office of the state solicitor and its functions and responsibilities, including providing legal services and clearance to the state while the attorney-general provides legal advice to the Ministers and NEC.
Attorney-General Kerenga Kua said the Office of the State Solicitor had been established under the general provisions of the Public Service Management Act of 1995 and that had undermined the advice of the state solicitor.
He added that under the new act, the state solicitor would be subjected to the Leader Code.