Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago/Chapter 8

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Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago
Chapter 8 Finance

Establishment of Consolidated Fund[edit]

112.- 1. All revenues or other moneys raised or received by Trinidad and Tobago, not being revenues or other moneys payable under this Constitution or any other law into some other public fund established for a specific purpose shall, unless Parliament otherwise provides, be paid into and form one Consolidated Fund.

2. No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund except to meet expenditure that is charged upon the Fund by this Constitution or any Actor or where the issue of those moneys has been authorised by an Appropriation Act or an Act passed in pursuance of section 114 or in accordance with any other law.

3. No moneys shall be withdrawn from any public fund other than the Consolidated Fund unless the issue of those moneys has been authorised by an Act.

4. No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund or any other public fund except in the manner prescribed.

Authorisation of Expenditure from Colsolidated Fund[edit]

113.- 1. The Minister responsible for finance shall cause to be prepared and laid before the House of Representatives before or not later than thirty days after the commencement of each financial year estimates of the revenues and expenditure of Trinidad and Tobago for that year.

2. The heads of expenditure contained in the estimates, other than expenditure charged upon the Consolidated Fund by this Constitution or any Act shall be included in a Bill, to be known as an Appropriation Bill providing for the issue from the Consolidated Fund of the sums necessary to meet that expenditure, and the appropriation of those sums for the purposes specified therein.

3. If in respect of any financial year it is found-

a. 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 Act; or

b. that any moneys have been expended for any purpose in excess of the amount appropriated for the purpose by the Appropriation Act or for a purpose for which no amount has been appropriated by the Act,

a supplementary estimate showing the sums required or spent shall be laid before the House of Representatives and the heads if any such expenditure shall be included in a Supplementary Appropriation Bill.

Authorisation of Expenditure in Advance of Appropriation[edit]

114.- Parliament may make provision under which, if the Appropriation Act in respect of any financial year has not come into operation by the beginning of that financial year, the Minister responsible for finance may authorise 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 thirty days from the beginning of that financial year or the coming into operation of the Act, whichever is the earlier.

Contingencies Fund[edit]

115.- 1. Parliament may provide for the establishment of a Contingencies Fund and for authorising the Minister responsible for finance, if he is satisfied that there has arisen an urgent and unforeseen need for expenditure for which no other provision exists, to make advances from the Fund to meet that need.

2. Where any advance is made in accordance with subsection (1) a supplementary estimate shall be presented and a Supplementary Appropriation Bill shall be introduced as soon as possible for the purposes of replacing the amount so advanced.

Establishment of Office and Functions of Auditor General[edit]

116.- 1. There shall be an Auditor General for Trinidad and Tobago, whose office shall be a public office.

2. The public accounts of Trinidad and Tobago and of all officers, courts and authorities of Trinidad and Tobago shall be audited and reported on annually by the Auditor General, and for that purpose the Auditor General or any person authorised by him in that behalf shall have access to all books, records, returns and other documents relating to those accounts.

3. The Auditor General is hereby empowered to carry out audits of the accounts, balance sheets and other financial statements of all enterprises that are owned or controlled by or on behalf of the State.

4. The Auditor General shall submit his reports annually to the Speaker, the President of the Senate and the Minister of Finance.

5. The President of the Senate and the Speaker shall cause the report to be laid before the Senate and the House of Representatives, respectively, at the next sitting of the Senate and the House of Representatives after the receipt thereof, respectively.

6. In the exercise of his functions under this Constitution the Auditor General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

Auditor General[edit]

117.- 1. The Auditor General shall be appointed by the President after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition and shall hold office in accordance with section 136.

2. Where the office of Auditor General is vacant or the holder of the office is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his office the President after consultation with the Prime Minister and the leader of the Opposition may appoint a person to act in the office, and any person so appointed shall, subject to the provisions of subsection (4) continue to act until his appointment is revoked by the President, after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

3. Before entering upon the duties of his office the Auditor General shall take and subscribe the oath of office before the President or a person appointed by the President for the purpose.

4. Nothing done by the Auditor General shall be invalid by reason only that he has attained the age at which he is required under section 136 to vacate his office.

5. The Auditor General shall be provided with a staff adequate for the efficient discharge of his functions.

6. The staff of the Auditor General shall be public officers appointed in accordance with section 121(8).


Public Debt[edit]

118.- 1. The public debt of Trinidad and Tobago shall be secured on the revenues and assets of Trinidad and Tobago.

2. In this section references to the public debt of Trinidad and Tobago include references to the interest on that debt, sinking fund payments in respect of that debt, and the cost, charges and expenses incidental to the management of that debt.

Public Account Committees[edit]

119.- 1. There shall be a Public Accounts Committee which shall consist of not less than six nor more than ten members.

2. The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee shall be a member of the Opposition in the House, if any, and if willing to act. The Chairman and other members may comprise an equal number of members of the House of Representatives and the Senate as the House of Representatives may determine.

3. Where the members of the Opposition in the House of Representatives are unwilling to act as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee a member of the Opposition in the Senate shall be appointed and where the members of the Opposition in the Senate are unwilling so to act one of the Senators, appointed by the President under section 40(2)(b) shall be appointed Chairman.

4. The Public Accounts Committee shall consider and report to the House of Representatives on-

a. appropriation accounts of moneys expended out of sums granted by Parliament to meet the public expenditure of Trinidad and Tobago;

b. such other accounts as may be referred to the Committee by the House of Representatives or as are authorised or required to be considered by the committee under any other enactment; and

c. the report of the Auditor General on any such accounts.

5. In addition to the Public Accounts Committee established under subsection (1) there shall be a Public Accounts (Enterprises) Committee which shall consist of not less than six nor more than ten members.

6. The Chairman of the Public Accounts (Enterprises) Committee shall be one of the Senators, if any, and if willing to act, appointed under section 40(2)(b) in accordance with the advice of the Leader of the Opposition and the other members such members of the House of Representatives and Senators as the House of Representatives may determine.

7. Where the members of the Opposition in the Senate are unwilling to act as Chairman of the Public Accounts (Enterprises) Committee, a member of the Opposition in the House of Representatives shall be appointed and where the members of the Opposition in the House of Representatives are unwilling so to act, one of the Senators appointed by the President under section 40(2)(b) shall be appointed Chairman.

8. The Public Accounts (Enterprises) Committee shall consider and report to the House of Representatives on-

a. the audited accounts, balance sheets and other financial statements of all enterprises that are owned or controlled by or on behalf of the State; and

b. the Auditor General's report on any such accounts, balance sheets and other financial statements.

9. For the purposes of subsection (8) and section 116(3) an enterprise shall be taken to be controlled by the State if the Government or any body controlled by the Government-

a. exercises or is entitled to exercise control directly or indirectly over the affairs of the enterprise;

b. is entitled to appoint a majority of the directors of the Board of Directors of the enterprise; or

c. holds at least fifty per cent of the ordinary share capital of the enterprise, as the case may be.