BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
“WE only make recommendations and Cabinet makes the decision.”
This was expressed by Supervising Deputy Director of Ministry of Finance and Treasury’s Budget Unit, Marcellina L. Iro to participants of the two day “Bringing the Budget Closer to Home” training that was held last week.
Moreover, speaking on ministry submissions, she said for new initiative programs, ministries are required to submit bids for additional funding.
Mrs Iro adds that whilst doing this, they also expect that they provide supporting documents and submissions with proper costs.
She said they also have budget templates where ministries are asked to insert their planned activities for the given year based on their annual work plan, associated costs, and key outputs of the activities they want to carry out.
After this is received, Iro says they carry out assessment on these submissions before they provide feedback which includes information like the total number of bids, why some bids were recommended and why other bids were not recommended.
She mentioned that the assessment criteria they use relates to government policies and priorities.
This includes things like whether a ministry which has submitted a bid for a project is the rightful ministry to implement that project or whether there is money or funds to cater for submissions made for new projects or continuing projects.
She emphasized that the Budget Unit only makes recommendations on these submissions while Cabinet has the final say.
“Every submission given we will make recommendations for before submitting it to the cabinet which makes the decision”, said Iro.
She stressed that there are also challenges they come across with one of them being ministries seeking approval from Cabinet before getting recommendations from them.
Iro furthers that this is one challenge where they are trying to address by communicating with ministries to make sure that any submissions or requests they have is brought to Finance first so they can see if there is funding for it before we can make recommendations to Cabinet.