“The SCA further notes that the Ombudsman reports that the Ministry of Finance has the authority to revise the Ombudsman’s budget proposal in line with the rules governing public finances. If the Government fails to reach an agreement with the Ombudsman on the proposed budget, it is the proposal of the Government that is forwarded to the National Assembly for adoption, while the draft budget prepared by the Ombudsman is included only in the explanation of the budget.

The SCA notes that, the Ombudsman reported that a lack of agreement between the Ombudsman and the Government on the draft budget has never happened in practice. The SCA notes that the classification of an NHRI as an independent State agency has important implications for the regulation of certain practices, including reporting, recruitment, funding and accounting. Where a State has developed uniform rules or regulations to ensure State agencies are properly accountable for the use of public funds, the application of such rules or regulations on an NHRI is not considered inappropriate provided they do not compromise the NHRI’s ability to perform its role independently and effectively.

The Ombudsman reported that the independence of the Ombudsman, which originates from the Constitution and the Act, is not consistently considered in the rules and regulations governing public finance. Accordingly, the SCA encourages the Ombudsman to advocate for appropriate modifications to applicable administrative procedures to ensure that its independence and financial autonomy is guaranteed.”