Bahrain's Shura Council has been pushed into the red - by its members' expenses.
They exceeded their annual budget for salaries and expenses by BD142,000, taking the cost last year to BD1,684,000, the 40-member council heard at its meeting yesterday.
This put the council BD28,000 in the red for last year, despite savings on staff salaries and services, financial and economical affairs committee secretary Mohammed Al Shroogi told members.
He said the council managed to save BD105,000 from its general expenditure.
"Spending on equipment increased by BD33,000 and by BD8,000 on maintenance," he said.
"New computers and software were bought for each employee.
"Maintenance was carried on buildings, cars and electronics, in addition to the council buying a number of buildings to be used by 12 employees as offices."
Mr Al Shroogi said that this expenditure were necessary for the council's operations and was balanced by savings elsewhere.
"Around BD23,000 was saved from employees salaries, BD112,000 from services and BD11,000 from goods," he said.
But members' expenditure exceeded their allocated BD1.542 million budget by BD142,000.
"We have spent BD1.684m and this is due repayments to members for them using rented offices and their own cars for November and December of 2002, which was not in the budget for 2003," he said.
The council accounts will be audited by the Financial Monitoring Bureau.