Government has cut the education budget again. It has decided to cut €150,000 from the capital vote for IT in schools. The Education Ministry tried to resist these cuts but the Finance Ministry used the DAS (Departmental Accounting System) to block the use of this vote. The Education Ministry has had to give in and has now to decide whether to cut this money from the tender for school LAN (Local Area Networks) or pay only 80% of the money due or roll over the payment for next year to pay the amount from the budget for 2013.
On 17 October 2012 the newly appointed Director Curriculum Management and eLearning (CMELD) Sandro Spiteri wrote to all his colleagues:
Subject: URGENT INSTRUCTIONS RE CMELD FUNDS
I am undertaking a review of spending patterns for 2012 and available funds, due to instructions for further efficiencies and economies that need to be made. As from today, no more purchases are to be made on any one of the following line items:
Vote VI Capital: Line Item 7028 Information Technology in Government Schools
Vote 20 Recurrent, Cost Centre 02: Line Item 22 Materials and Supplies
Vote 20 Recurrent, Cost Centre 02: Line Item 23 Repair and Upkeep
Vote 20 Recurrent, Cost Centre 02: Line Item 25 International Memberships
Vote 20 Recurrent, Cost Centre 02: Line Item 26 Office Services
Vote 20 Recurrent, Cost Centre 02: Line Item 32 Training
Vote 20 Recurrent, Cost Centre 02: Line Item 34 Incidental Expenses
Vote 20 Recurrent, Cost Centre 02: 5369 Implementation of Reform Programme in Education
Vote 20 Recurrent, Cost Centre 02: 5370 Literacy Initiatives
Vote 20 Recurrent, Cost Centre 02: 5371 Let Me Learn Project
Vote 20 Recurrent, Cost Centre 02: 5372 Specific Learning Difficulty Unit
Vote 20 Recurrent, Cost Centre 02: 5373 Development of Science Centre
Purchases made and approved up to before this communication and according to present standing procedures will be honoured, but need to be communicated by the end of this week to Moyra Bugeja (in case of Vote 20 Recurrent) at firstname.lastname@example.org , and to Ms Louisa Zammit at email@example.com (in case of the IT Capital Vote). This instruction is also valid for all use of chequebooks related to the above funds.
The only exceptions is for expenditure related to the essential and indispensable running of outstations such as telephone and cleaning bills, and printing for the EAU.
All recipients/users of the above accounts need to make afresh any further claims for use of unspent funds, including for commitments made up to now but for which expenditure has not yet been made. Whilst no claim will be rejected a priori, all claims will be subject to renewed scrutiny for the DG to make her final decision. To ensure that this process does not hinder unduly our work, I aim to give a decision with a short turn-around time. All claims for unspent funds must therefore by made by the end of Wednesday 24th October 2012.”