x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

UAE Cabinet backs new revenue bylaw

The bylaws, passed by the Ministerial Council for Services yesterday, will require all fiscal revenues be collected, monitored and kept with the federal government.

ABU DHABI // The Cabinet has approved bylaws to ensure state revenues are passed to the federal government.

The bylaws, passed by the Ministerial Council for Services yesterday, will require all fiscal revenues be collected, monitored and kept with the federal government. This follows years of criticism from the FNC over the lack of monitoring and control of state revenues.

The FNC found authorities would pass revenues to the local government instead of the federal government in many instances highlighted by the state audit institute.

These included Umm Al Quwain courts, which passed fees to the local government for years. The Justice Ministry excused its actions by saying a lack of Emirati staff prevented it from monitoring revenues internally and that it needed additional funds to fulfil that role.

The Ministry of Interior also failed to pass revenue from traffic fines, except those in Abu Dhabi, to the federal government.

Last week, when the 2011 end-of-year accounts were discussed in the council, these breaches remained.

Last year the FNC refused to pass the 2010 end-of-year accounts in protest at the flouting of the current spending rules across many government departments. It was passed after the FNC was assured that the new zero-based-budget would help resolve all issues, although this has proved wrong.

Other problems included lack of cooperation from the state audit institute and breaches not covered by the law and lack of funding.

"This law will help govern revenues," Ali Jassim, an FNC member from UAQ, said. "The revenues should go to the Ministry of Finance. This will solve the big problem of breaches [of the laws]."

The council also reviewed new unified federal government financial procedures passed to them by the Ministry of Finance and the most important amendments suggested for them, Wam, the state news agency, reported.

They said that a team would be created to overlook various boards of directors in entities, institutes and companies owned by the federal government.

The council also approved the participation of ministries and federal entities in committee meetings, organisations and authorities linked to GCC countries.

These would aim to find further coordination between all federal and local entities, place general principles for these meetings and unify procedures to execute decisions passed from these meetings.

Proposals to develop national civil aviation policies to create a more efficient aviation sector and put in place mechanisms to manage them were also discussed.

osalem@thenational.ae