A last minute burst of spending and extra requests for money in the final quarter of 2015-2016 is what caused the country to come in with a less than forecast surplus; this according to figures published in the unaudited Fourth Quarter Financial Report.
The report issued by the Ministry of Finance reveals that despite a surplus of $10.3 million for the final quarter of last fiscal year, it was $12.5 million below government projections due to as many as four requests by the PNP Administration to give more funds to finance additional projects.
Among them, the controversial, multi-million dollar security bill for the Special Investigation and Prosecution Team. Police spending, as a result of this, soared by 128% or $3.9 million extra.
The Attorney General’s Chambers was up 46%, by nearly $1.5 million. The judiciary was also up considerably, as much as 59% and a final spending recorded at over $2.1 million. Also with big jumps were the Deputy Governor’s office, spending 67% more; Home Affairs was 56% above budget; Ministry of Infrastructure surged by 36%, Health, Agriculture & Human Services increased by 27% and Tourism & Culture spent 59% above what was budgeted.
Border Control & the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sport & Library Services were each at 11% more; while another big gain was in the area of expenses was the Office of the Premier, up three digits by 138% to come in at $808,000 dollars in the fourth quarter.
For the full year, this final quarter spike in spending brought operating surplus to a 133% high.
Finance was pleased though with the overall performance and said, among other things the intent is to continue to work down public debt and achieve surpluses.