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Budget Management

 

The Roles of Budget Management Directorate


The Budget Unit of the MoF of the Republic of The Gambia was created in 1978 as a result of the restructuring of the then Department of State for Finance and Economic Affairs, as a specialized unit responsible for the formulation, allocation, execution and post evaluation of the various appropriations allocated to finance government’s overall yearly operations, in accordance with existing policies and the Government Budget Management and Accountability Act, 2004 (BMAA). The BMAA replaces the previous Finance and Audit Act which existed as a colonial legacy.  The Budget Unit in effect, is the command center of government’s day-to-day financial operations.

Under the hand of the MoF, the Budget Unit (BU) prepares the call circulars for the various Ministries and Agencies (Budget Entities (BEs), in the IFMIS context) to subsequently prepare and submit their draft estimates to the ministry.  This allows the MoFEA to thoroughly scrutinize the submissions in respect to development and other charges, in order to determine the overall quantum of resources that will be required to fund government operations for the anteceding year.  Personnel Management Office (PMO) does the checking and the bilateral of the personal emoluments. In addition to checking the submission, funding of the draft budget (estimates) is determined and resources allocated on the basis of government’s priority on the one hand, and the available resources (revenue receipts), on the other hand.  This process includes the conducting of pre-budget meetings and bilateral consultations between the BE and the MoF.

Once the consultative process is completed, the BU has the responsibility to consolidate and prepare the draft Estimate in book form, together with the Appropriation Bill, for submission to the National Assembly for enactment into law.  The draft estimates and the Appropriation Bill however pass through the cabinet where the draft are thoroughly scrutinized and deliberated upon.  Since Cabinet is the highest policy body of Government, its collective authority supervenes over that of MoF.  Once the budget passed through Cabinet, the Budget Unit then must implement all the necessary amendments as directed by Cabinet and, thereafter, proceed with the submission of the amended draft to the National Assembly.

Besides the responsibility for budget preparation, execution and post evaluation, the Budget Unit is also tasked to manage the domestic resource mobilization process.  It is this complementary function that ensures the Units’ competence and efficiency in the discharge of its responsibility to allocate resources to the various government operations, including sub-vented institutions.

Once the budget is approved by the National Assembly, the BU then has the added responsibility to monitor the performance of both Revenue and Expenditure target it has set, to ensure compliance.  The BU has the important task to ensure that sectors spend within their approve allocations and avoid the common practice of moving funds between vote heads, as a way of avoiding ceilings that may have been imposed or agreed for such line items. The Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) implemented by the Jammeh government is instrumental in controlling and monitoring that, amongst others.

Another critical aspect of the role of the Budget Unit is in ensuring that resources are allocated strictly in accordance with existing policies, particularly as a developing country that has donors to skew its resource allocation towards poverty reducing programmes and activities.

This aspect of the Unit’s work is extremely important as, usually, donors would have committed to support the government’s programme of poverty reduction by making substantial contributions (usually between 80% - 90%) of agreed project or programme related activities.  In summary, the Budget Unit covers mainly the following areas of responsibility:

 

  • Revenue forecasting and management
  • Oversight on sectoral budget preparations
  • Consolidation and presentation of Budget before Cabinet and National Assembly
  • Resource allocation to sector and sub-vented institutions
  • Revenue /Resources mobilization
  • Oversight on budget execution
  • Supplementary appropriations, in consultation with the National Assembly
  • Statutory charges
  • Liaising with Donor for funding /co-funding of budget
  • Advising the Minister on matters of the entire budget process, from preparation to execution including post-evaluation.

 

 

Last Updated (Tuesday, 21 December 2010 13:20)

 
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