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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Government to draft legislation to govern slush funds and connect them to state coffers

State coffers to get a slice of slush funds: The Ismail cabinet signed off on a new law proposal on Monday that would see the government earmark a percentage of what are known as “special revenue funds” or “special accounts” for state coffers to help narrow the budget deficit, Al Borsa reports. The percentage deducted from the semi-official slush funds would be determined according to the value and size of the accounts managed by each ministry, which would be categorized into three tiers. The law will exclude research funds, funds from international donors (including both loans and grants), university hospital accounts, as well as social welfare, housing, and healthcare funds, the newspaper adds.

House Representatives have been pressing the government to draft legislation to govern slush funds — which are financed with revenues that are separate from the normal budget process and can reportedly be spent on a minister’s authority with little oversight — and potentially allocate around 80% of them to state coffers. The government’s decision comes a little over a week after the Finance Ministry said it would be working with the prime minister’s office to have ministries and government agencies compile reports on the funds under their control to present to the House for review.

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