Gov’t to establish new measures to implement 2016 budget

THE Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) Government will put in place new measures to implement the 2016 budget.

The Minister of Finance and Treasury Hon. Snyder Rini announced the set of measures when tabling the 2016 Appropriation Bill in Parliament late last week which are aimed at strengthening the alignment of the government’s priorities to the allocation of scarce resources through the 2016 budget.

The first of the new measures is the establishment of a new Budget Expenditure Committee, to be headed by the Permanent Secretary of Finance and Treasury and comprises Permanent Secretaries of all central agencies, including the Secretary to the Cabinet.

The main role of the Committee is to ensure that Government strategies and collective priorities of improving services delivery are adequately reflected in the national budget.

The second measure is to clarify the roles of existing committees such as the Budget Coordinating Committee and the Budget Implementation Committee to improve budget coordination, the screening of submissions and improving the implementation of the budget.

On this, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Development Planning and Aid Coordination (MDPAC), will require that programmes and projects that are included in the budget must be ready for implementation with proper costing, including the impacts on recurrent expenditure.

The third measure is to improve coordination between the Ministry of Finance and MDPAC to work with all ministries to improve compliance to budget instructions especially the requirement that ministries submit their budget bids on time. This is extremely important to allow proper screening of their alignment to government priorities.

Minister Rini also announced that the Government will conduct a judicious review of the whole portfolio, covering both the development budget and the recurrent budget.

“The intent will be to reduce and remove non-performing or non-priority activities- a form of “spring cleaning”, to borrow the phrase of one of our development partners. This should create some fiscal space which we will use to accommodate new ideas and projects,” the Minister said.

He said the Government will also place extra attention on working effectively with development partners, the private sector, the churches, the non-government organizations, the non-state actors, the civil society, the local communities and the international community to realise the country’s development aspirations for nation building.

Source: OPMC Press