PALAU LEGISLATURE SEEKS TO LIMIT PRESIDENTIAL

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Bill would limit authority to reprogram funds

By Bernadette H. Carreon KOROR (Palau Horizon, Jan. 6, 2010) - A measure introduced in the Olbiil Era Kelulau seeking for modification of the president’s reprogramming authority will limit the ability for the chief executive to reprogram funds and eventually result to a shutdown of the government.

The measure in question is Senate Bill 8-112.

In a letter to Senator Mark Rudimch, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and Financial Matters, President Johnson Toribiong said that if that bill reaches his office, he will veto it.

The president in a letter said that the government is already "overly bureaucratized and poorly run, this bill will accomplish nothing more than to create additional paperwork and exacerbate the situation."

He said the national coffers have already been drained because of payments that have to be made to retire prior year debts.

He said that these debts go way back to Fiscal Year 2002. The prior debts then contributed to the massive shortfall in funding for the rest of Fiscal Year 2009.

"The chief executive of any organization needs as much flexibility as possible to run the day to day affairs of his or her organization in order to meet the contingencies within the fiscal year," Toribiong said.

He said in order to remedy the shortfall; he had to utilize his reprogramming authority.

He said he asked for an opportunity for him to sit down with Rudimch to discuss the measure.

Senate Bill 8-112 seeks explanation for every reprogramming the president will do, and how can it be prevented in the future.

The measure also allows reprogramming of only 10 percent from the total funds.

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