CSBAG: Budget indiscipline killing Uganda’s economy
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Civil society Budget advocacy Group (CSBAG) has asked parliament to reject “unnecessary supplementary budget” requests by government extended to The House for approval.
In a statement released on March 2, CSBAG said it wants the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act 2015 reviewed to empower parliament approve supplementary budgets, before government makes use of the money.
The Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) want section 12 of the budget Act and section 25 of the PFM Act amended, to remove the flexibility that allows supplementary budgets without parliamentary approval.
In its current form, the Act under sections 22 and 20, allows enough flexibility for MDAs, to spend money without asking for supplementary budgets.
“Parliament should throw out some of these supplementary budgets by the government so that they are considered as losses,” Julius Mukunda, the executive Director CSBAG, told journalists March 2, 2018 in Kampala.
The CSOs noted that if the Public finance Act 2015, which empowers government to take supplementary budgets before prior approve by parliament, is reviewed, parliament will be able to lock out any uncalled for supplementary expenditures.
“We should review the law, to have parliament approve supplementary budgets before use. Supplementary budgeting, creates a scenario of laxity among Government institutions. They plan for everything well aware that we shall go back and get supplementary resources approved,” David Walakira, a budget specialist CSBAG, said. He said budget indiscipline was killing Uganda’s economy.
Carol Namagembe, the program coordinator CSBAG implored parliament to pay much attention during the scrutiny of the national budgets, to avoid uncalled for supplementary budget requests.
“Supplementary budget requests, affect earlier planned for service delivery outcomes. All sectors should restrict their budgets to earlier plan for activities, to avoid taking supplementary budgets,” Namagembe said.
The Public Finance Management Act regulations, specify that the supplementary budgets should be unforeseeable, unsorbable and unavoidable.
According to CSBAG, to date, Sh.531.2bn has been approved as supplementary and Sh193.3bn, still pending approval for the current FY2017/18.
“Considering approved and pending supplementary requests, the total FY2017/18 budget supplementary to date, will be Ugx724.56bn. This would be not be a problem, if supplementary budgeting guidelines, were followed strictly. This however, is not the case,” Mukunda said.