LGFD holds technical support mission for FY 2014 local councils’ budget formulation and implementation
The Local Government Finance Department in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development [MoFED] held a ten days program for Technical Support Mission for FY 2014 Local Councils Budget formulation and implementation at the Haikal Academy in Bo. The program started on Friday 22nd November 2013 and will end on the 30th November 2013.
It should be recalled that the budget formulation and execution processes for Local Councils over the years have been supported by the Local government Finance Department, Public Financial Management Reform Unit and other devolved MDAs commencing 2005.
The FY2014 technical budget support is very crucial for successful implementation of the “Agenda for Prosperity”. It is the first step towards effective implementation of the “Agenda for Prosperity” the third generation PRSP document. The “Agenda for Prosperity” which comprises eight pillars defines the development path for the country for the period 2013- 2017.
The objective of the exercise was to ensure that the activities developed by councils are in line with the “Agenda for Prosperity’ and are coded in line with the 27 digits charts of accounts that are currently used in the Petra Accounting System. The Petra accounting system helps provide information on the progress made in expenditure out-turns for each of the pillars.
The support mission brought together Chief Administrators, Council Finance officers, Accountants, and all heads of devolved services such as District Medical Officers, Finance Officers, Medical Superintendents District health Superintendents with their Finance officers. Two days were allocated to each devolved sector.
The sessions commenced with the Ministry of Health & Sanitation and Solid Waste Management. Following the welcome statement and overview of the program by LGFD, a presentation was done on the general guidelines for FY2014 budget formulation and implementation by LGFD. The presentation reiterated on the relevant statutory instruments such as the LGA 2004, GBAA 2005 etc which should guide the process. It highlighted further the conditions for the use of DSDP-2 and RCHP-2 funds and what is considered as ineligible with the use of such donor funds. In each of the session, the MDAs having the oversight responsibility provided guidelines to Councils on the path expected by each in the attainment of the respective national goals and targets in the Agenda for Prosperity.
For the health sector, presentations were made by the Director, Policy Planning and Information, Director, RCHP, Director PHC and Director, Training, Hospital and Laboratory. Their presentation focused on the targets for the ministry and the activities to be implemented by local councils that will support the attainment of these targets.
The sessions continued on Monday 25th November 2013, with Devolved Education and Library sectors. Like the previous session, the LGFD gave an overview of the program and presented the guidelines for FY2014 budget formulation and implementation. This was followed by a presentation by the Director of planning Ministry of Education Mrs. Adama Momoh. In her presentation, she underscored that under Agenda for Prosperity ( 2013- 2018) education plays a key role in the achievement of developmental goals and attainment of prosperity, hence , Government is focused on ensuring that by 2018 access to primary education will be free; and access to all levels of education will be greatly improved. She stated that the education sector plan for 2013- 2018 mission statement is to provide opportunities for children and adults to acquire knowledge and skills, as well as nurture attitudes and values that help the nation benefit and prosper. She further highlighted challenges faced which includes a high number of out-of –school children of primary school age, 40% of children start grade one at aged 7 or above, high repetition rates, low quality education at all levels, inadequate educational infrastructure to effectively and efficiently deliver education amongst others. She outlined the strategic objectives for quality and relevance of education.
The third session of the program started on Wednesday 27th November with the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security, Marine and Fire prevention. It followed the same pattern like the previous sessions. The Deputy Director Extension in the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and food Security Bakarr L Bangura made a presentation on the topic ‘Enhancing the performance of District Agriculture Officers [DAOs] in the use of Council Funds.
The exercise will continue with other devolved services and will end on Saturday 30th November 2013 at which time local councils are expected to submit their draft Annual Work Plans for FY2014.
By Hawanatu Bockari, SLENA/MoFED
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