ECB receives additional money

Government has moved to top up the finances of the state agency in charge of overseeing next month’s general election.

The Electoral and Boundaries Commission is receiving more than a quarter of a million dollars in funding as it prepares for the February 21 poll and related activities including Nomination Day next Wednesday.

Approval for the additional money came in Parliament when it met†yesterday with only members of the ruling Democratic Labour Party present, as the Opposition Barbados Labour Party continued its boycott of the House.

While MPs present debated and approved a more than half million dollar supplementary related to the Fairchild Street Redevelopment Project, there was no discussion on the $332,654 for the EBC.

“The sum of $332,654 is required to meet the additional costs under these items. Increased costs are associated with the payment of salaries, acting allowances, National Insurance contributions, supplies and materials and other operating expenses, arising from preparations for the upcoming elections,” the related addendum stated.

The funding was allocated in several areas, including other personal emoluments ($217,598), employers contributions ($9,590), supplies and materials ($20,524), and operating expenses ($84,942).

In the 2012-2013 approved Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure approved in March last year, $4.6 million was budgeted for the EBC, including other personal emoluments of $1.7 million, employers contributions $256,469, supplies and materials $217,469, and operating expenses $456,536.

In addition to conducting parliamentary elections, the organisation’s statutory responsibilities include “the management of the permanent and continuous system of national registration and issuing Barbados identification cards” and the “constitutional statutory function of the registration of voters”. (SC)

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