The Tobago House of Assembly was established by Act Number 37 of 1980. This Act also established the Tobago House of Assembly Fund into which all monies appropriated by Parliament as well as monies collected by the Assembly in respect of fees and charges imposed by it under its bye-laws were to be deposited. The Budget Department commenced operations in March of 1982, and the role of the Department assumed greater significance and proportion over time particularly so with the proclamation of Act Number 40 of 1996. The Unit/ Department, based on increasing responsibility and scope is staffed by a multi skilled team of technical and administrative officers.
The primary responsibility of the Budget Section is preparation of budget estimates and management of funding appropriated by Parliament. The section also ensures that funding appropriated by Parliament and the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) is released to the Divisions of the Assembly in a timely manner. The Unit monitors monthly expenditure from the Divisions and reports to the Ministry of Finance and the Assembly Legislature, collates the Annual Draft Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure to provide for the functions of the Assembly, monitors and reports to the Ministry of Finance on the Assembly’s revenue collection and identifies and examines proposals for new sources of revenue collection and make recommendations accordingly.
Planning for Tobago’s expenditure commences in March of the preceding financial year with the issuing of the call circular memorandum to the Divisions. The submissions are then consolidated, laid in the Tobago House of Assembly, debated and submitted to Central Government where it is included in the country’s annual budget and laid in Parliament.
- Official correspondence in the form of a Call Circular from the Secretary of Finance and Enterprise Development is issued to all Secretaries, Chief Administrator, Administrators, and the Clerk of the Assembly. This Circular provides all guidelines for the preparation and submission of the Draft Estimate of the Assembly with deadline date for submission.
- Draft Estimates are prepared and submitted by the various Divisions of the Tobago House of Assembly to the Budgets department at the Division of Finance and Enterprise Development.
- The Draft Estimates are verified and compiled into one document for the Tobago House of Assembly.
- This document is laid in the Assembly, and debated allowing sufficient time to ensure delivery to Cabinet by the statutory deadline of June 30th each year.
- Copies of the documents are also sent to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Planning, Economic and Social Restructuring, and Gender Affairs for consideration and inclusion in the National Budget of Trinidad and Tobago. Tobago House of Assembly’s appropriation should not be under the minimum limit as approved by the Dispute Resolution Commission that 4.03% of the National Budget.
- The Appropriation bill is laid in Parliament, debated, and when passed becomes the approved Estimates for the relevant fiscal year.
Shelly Trim, Budget Analyst IV (A.g.)
Level 3, Victor E. Bruce Financial Complex
6-10 Post Office Street, Scarborough
Tel: (868) 639-4412 ext. 4101
Fax: 639-4412 ext. 6700