“Section 29(1) of the HRCSL Act provides that the ‘state shall provide the Commission with adequate funds to enable the Commission to discharge the functions assigned to it by this Act’.

The HRSCL reports that it enjoys financial autonomy in practice, including through a separate budget line item within the State budget which it controls. However, the SCA considers that the current statutory arrangements do not provide the HRCSL with sufficient financial autonomy.

The SCA notes that NHRIs should have complete financial autonomy as a guarantee of its overall freedom to determine its priorities and activities. National law should indicate from where the budget of the NHRI is allocated and should ensure this is a separate budget line over which the NHRI has absolute management and control. The NHRI has the obligation to ensure the coordinated, transparent and accountable management of its funding through regular public financial reporting and a regular annual independent audit.

The SCA therefore recommends that the HRCSL advocates for appropriate modifications to applicable administrative procedures to ensure that its functional independence and financial autonomy are guaranteed.

The SCA refers to Paris Principle B.2 and to its General Observation 1.10 on ‘Adequate funding.’”