*Next year’s budgets of SRI, SIE, SPP, STS get parliamentary committees’ approval
The joint parliamentary Budget & Finance Committees on Saturday unanimously approved next year’s budgets of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE), the Protection and Guard Service (SPP), the Special Telecommunications Service (STS), and the National Office for the Prevention and Control of Money Laundering in the initially proposed form.
SRI has a budget of 1,850,905 thousand lei assigned for next year, by 19 percent more than in 2015.
SRI deputy director, Gen. George Viorel Voinescu, said during debates in the joint Budget Committees that the substantiation of the requests for money allocations next year has taken in consideration the need for the service to best accomplish its specific missions, while the major concern envisaged the preventive and anticipative management of risks and threats to national security.
Voiculescu underscored that SRI might apply for additional funding at the budget revision, or when new EU-funded projects will be initiated.
SIE has 272,510 thousand lei assigned next year, up 6.46 pct from the 255,968 thousand lei earmarked in 2015.
SIE deputy director, Gen Catalin Sarca, said that the budget is currently enough for the institution’s needs for 2016.
SPP has 163,825 thousand lei assigned for next year, down 3.07 pct from 2015. The institution’s economic director, Gen. Ioan Costea, said that next year’s budget is designed to ensure the protection of the Romanian and foreign dignitaries on the country’s soil, the maintenance of the institution’s vehicle fleet, of the weapons and equipment, staff remuneration and the replacement of the cars for Romanian and foreign dignitaries.
STS has 274,289 thousand lei assigned for next year, down 37.13 pct from 2015. Service director Marcel Opris told the lawmakers that the budget includes all the estimated expenditures for the two election rounds next year.
The budget of the National Office for the Prevention and Control of Money Laundering is 15,788 thousand lei, by 31.84 pct higher than in 2015.
National Integrity Agency’s budget clears Parliament Budget Committees
The joint parliamentary Budget & Finance Committees on Saturday approved the 2016 budget of the National Integrity Agency (ANI) in the form proposed by the Government.
The amount allocated to ANI next year is 34.449 million lei, by 3.9 pct smaller than the 35.846 million lei assigned to it in 2015, as per the budget blueprint published on the website of the Public Finance Ministry.
ANI vice-president Bogdan Stan said the amount for next year is enough to ensure the institution’s proper operation.
“It’s sufficient to allow ANI attain the institutional goals it has committed to. We expect a busy electoral year, the number of wealth statements will double, the number of challenges will rise exponentially. I am telling you this in the light of our previous years’ experience,” said Stan.
According to him, the explanation for the overall decrease of the institution’s budget by 3.9 percent in 2016 from 2015 is the EU-funded project ANI has been running this year and which was included in the institution’s 2015 budget.
The rise by 103.5 pct of the figure assigned for “Goods and Services” is the effect of the expected increase in the number of wealth statements which, in an electoral year like 2016, doubles getting as high as 1.3 million compared to 750,000 in an ordinary year.
“The wealth statements must be processed and published for consultation on the website within 48 hours. We also need to invest in computing technology for the integrity section, we have computers dating from 2007, and the institution’s security system also needs to be improved,” Stan said, according to Agerpres.
Budget of Presidential Administration clears Budget & Finance Committees, gets 39.22 pct addition as to 2015
The joint parliamentary Budget & Finance Committees on Saturday unanimously approved next year’s budget of the Presidential Administration in the proposed form, ie with a 39.22 pct addition to the 2015 figure.
Attending the debates, advisor with the Presidential Administration George Vladimir Duhan explained that the proposed amount is enough for the proper functioning of the institution.
He also explained the lawmakers that 5,000 lei pinpointed in the budget are intended for keeping the fish in the artificial lakes of the Cotroceni Complex.
“The Cotroceni Complex has an ornamental watering system with a stream and four lakes that are also populated with fish. The food is for the fish in the artificial lakes of the Cotroceni Complex. (…) This money is for the management of the already existing stock, this is not about animals brought during one term or another,” said the state advisor.
The Presidential Administration representative also said that the budget for foreign trips has decreased, given that this year the money was enough until the budget revision.
The Presidential Administration’s proposed budget for 2016 is of 56,309,000 lei, up from last year’s, up from this year. To an extent of 99 percent the money will be made available from the state budget and 1 percent comes from the Administration’s own sources.
The figure provided for goods and services is 19,000,000 lei, 10.92 percent less than last year.
The amount pinpointed for domestic trips is of 300,000 lei , while the figure assigned for foreign visits is 8,000,000 lei.
The President’s fund is 170,000 lei, just like in 2015.
Budget of Romanian Cultural Institute gets additional 500,000 lei for Brancusi Year
The joint parliamentary Culture Committees on Saturday approved a 500,000 lei addition to the 2016 budget of the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) for the organization of events occasioned by the Brancusi Year.
The Public Finance Ministry will transfer from its “Goods and Services” chapter 500,000 lei to ICR’s budget for the due celebration of the Brancusi Year.
“Next year will be devoted to Brancusi and we must organize several events. (…) Expenses will be very high, as international conferences and large scale and highly impactful exhibitions will be organised,” said ICR vice-president Nagy Zoltan Mihaly.
According to the 2016 State Budget Bill, the Romanian Cultural Institute has 36,664,000 lei earmarked, by 16.39 percent more than this year.