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Wednesday, 25 July 2018

State coffers to claim as much as 25% of slush funds

LEGISLATION WATCH- State coffers to claim as much as 25% of slush funds: The House of Representatives’ general assembly granted its preliminary approval yesterday to a draft bill approved by the Madbouly Cabinet last week earmarking a portion of ministerial “private funds” to support the state budget, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The bill was referred to the House Planning and Budgeting Committee for review. The legislation would claim a portion of ministerial funds for state coffers that could be as much as 25%, up from a current 15%, Rep. Medhat El Sherif tells Al Mal. The proposed law would also lay claim to 25% of any annual surplus funds generated by government agencies, exempting only agencies that provide “economic or national services,” and funds that are education and research-focused, as well as those geared for social insurance, social housing, and university hospitals.

Background: These so-called “private accounts,” which have gained an unsavory reputation as slush funds, are typically maintained outside the budget system and have for years been the subject of scrutiny by both the domestic press and corruption watchdogs, and more recently, House Reps. MPs have been calling for greater oversight since it was revealed that a private fund belonging to the Cairo Governorate recorded a surplus of EGP 140 mn.

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