Ministry of Budget and Planning (MoBP) provides the mechanism to ensure appropriate and transparent allocation of public resources among competing priorities during budget preparation stage.
Annual Budget Call Circular
The formal budget preparation process starts with issuance of annual budget call circular to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government. The call circular shall include the followings:
- Economic and fiscal outlook of the State for the fiscal year;
- Aggregate spending limit (stating planning and contingency reserves);
- A summary of the State’s budget policy thrusts;
- Government-wide priorities;
- Explanations and guidelines on projects and programmes in the State Medium Term Sector Strategies (MTSS) and Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF);
- Sector Spending ceiling;
- Form and format of the budget estimates;
- Input spending boundaries (e.g., capital versus recurrent and personnel versus overhead costs);
- Guidelines for preparing recurrent expenditure (Particularly personnel costs);
- Budget classification and chart of accounts (BC & CoA) in line with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) requirements;
- Instructions for completing the budget forms; and
- Detailed time table for submission of proposal and bilateral discussion.
The time of issuing the call circular is very critical for early presentation of draft annual budget to State House of Assembly (SHA). Against this background, the call circular shall be issued on or before the date specified in the budget timeline.
Preparation of Budget Proposals by Spending Units
The Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on receipt of budget call circular are required to prepare detailed budget proposal for submission to the Ministry of Budget and Planning. The MDA proposal is expected to:
- Be in the approved form and format;
- Apply the proper budget classification and codes in line with IPSAS requirements;
- Have a qualitative presentation of their budget submission;
- Integrate recurrent and capital expenditures.
To produce the budget proposal within the time frame, each MDA or main organization is expected to:
- Constitute MDA budget sub-committee (to be chaired by Permanent Secretary in the case of a Ministry);
- Send copy of the budget call circular or ministerial (main organization) circular to all sub organizations calling for their proposals;
- The sub organization would prepare detailed proposal in accordance with the approved form and format;
- The sub organization would also prepare a qualitative presentation of the Budget;
- The Ministry (or main organization) budget sub-committee would review the submissions from all sub organizations.
Where an MDA may not have the requisite in-house technical manpower to prepare their proposals in line with the required format, especially with IPSAS based BC & CoA, the MoBP will on request, provide technical support to such MDA during budget preparation. The technical support may be in the form of:
- Visit to the MDA to ensure that their budget proposal is being prepared in line with the above requirement;
- Specific training for budget staff in MDAs where the staff lack proper knowledge of the requirements, or a member of the technical support team leading the process in the MDA.
Integrating Annual Budget
The process of integrating the annual budget is primarily interactive in nature. The aggregate resource envelope is first determined. The personnel and operational cost estimates are computed and deducted from the aggregate spending limit and the balance is considered as the capital development fund. The total capital expenditure is estimated and would consist of capital projects and programs. The fresh capital investment for the fiscal year would attract additional recurrent cost estimates, which adequate provision should be made in each MDA. The additional recurrent cost implication of fresh capital investment should be computed by line item (or economic input) and added to the personnel costs and recurring operating cost estimates.
To ensure full integrated annual budget estimates, it must take into account additional recurrent costs arising from the new capital investments, e.g., the procurement of new power supply generating plant would, of course require additional supplies of fuel and engine oil, labour in the form of skilled operator or attendant, routine and scheduled maintenance costs during the fiscal year when it is installed. These costs should be taken into account during the fiscal year budget preparation.
The MoBP and ESEPC on receipt of budget proposals (capital and recurrent from, MDAs would carry out joint bilateral discussion/negotiation with MDAs on their proposals. The essence of bilateral discussions is as follows:
- Review the proposals with MDAs to ensure consistency with approved proposal completion guidelines;
- To ensure that the MDAs complied with the input spending boundaries;
- Review the personnel and over-head input and its compliance with State government overall recurrent expenditure policy (particularly the personnel profile)
- To test the strategy, projects and programmes consistency with the State budget policy as well as sector policies.
- Review and judge the reasonableness of the costing mechanism of projects and programmes in the proposal.
- Where necessary allocate additional resources from the planning reserve for funding important projects and programmes not covered within the MDAs’ resource envelope (expenditure ceiling); and
- Review of MDAs’ performance indicators and method of measuring output and outcome to ensure consistency with State approved system.
Consolidation of Draft Budget and Review by EXCO
MDA budget proposals would be consolidated by the MoBP, incorporating amendments and adjustments based on the bilateral discussions. The consolidated proposals will be presented to the EXCO for review. The EXCO would ensure that the draft budget estimates reflect the following:
- State Budget policy thrusts as well as sector policies approved by EXCO at the annual budget planning level; and
- Trade off and balance of interests agreed at both political engagement and consultative processes with assembly members and stakeholders respectively.
Presentation of Draft Budget to House of Assembly
After review of the consolidated proposals, the Governor will present the draft budget to the State House of Assembly as an appropriation bill within the timeline as specified in annex 1 of this manual. The state appropriation bill is composed of:
- The budget message of the Governor; and
- The draft state budget
The budget message of the Governor includes:
- The statement of the Governor on the main directions of socio-economic development and fiscal policies in the coming financial year and if required, the draft bill to ensure the implementation of the proposed budget;
- Highlighted review of the previous budget performance; and
- Explanatory note on the draft of the State proposed budget.
The Explanatory note is a complete set of documents, justifying the State proposed budget which includes:
- Justification of planned state budget revenues, expenditures and deficit/surplus, including the interest rates and maturities on loans borrowed for financing of the deficit, as well as trend analysis of the mentioned budget elements;
- Basic assumptions adopted in determining the budget;
- Trend analysis of planned state budget revenues, expenditures and deficit/surplus on the basis of actual figures of the previous financial year and confirmed figures of the current financial year;
- Justification of state budget revenues expectations in the proposed draft with a breakdown per “allocations from the federation account”, “tax”, “non-tax” and “other” revenues;
- Justification of the proposed state budget appropriations, for each line of budget classification, identification and justification of the nature and the amount of budget credits and guarantees, identification of the basic norms for calculation of budget expenditures;
- Justification of budget appropriations for financing of targeted programmes, with indication of the programmes: legal basis, substance, tasks and objectives and phases and timing of implementation;
- Costing methods used and bases of determining the cost of capital investments;
- The structure and trend analysis of external and domestic loan as well as grants on the basis of actual figures of previous financial year and estimated figures of current financial year;
- Justification of the appropriations budgeted for generation of contingencies fund;
- Information on proposed appropriations against the original budget requests;
- Information on personnel expenditures of budget financed ministries, departments and agencies and trend analysis of this information based upon the corresponding figures of the last financial year, and the estimated figures of the current financial year as well as information on the actual number of employees; and
- Any other information, which the state Executive finds essential for justification of the draft State Budget.
Review and Approval by the House of Assembly
The SHA is responsible for officially enacting the budget- or approving it at the formal legal level. The steps include:
- The Executive formally proposes the budget to the House of Assembly (The public presentation by the Governor is regarded as the first reading of the Appropriation Bill)
- The second reading and thereafter the bill will be referred to House Committee on Appropriation and other committees for discussion;
- Discussion of the budget may involve public hearing, discussion with the MDAs and votes by House Committees;
- Presentation of report of the House Committee on Appropriation to the House (referred to as the third reading); and
- Final deliberation and passage of the Appropriation Law.
Assent by the Governor
The approved budget will be presented to the Governor for his assent. Assent involves the Governor appending his signature to the passed bill to make it a law.
Public Presentation and Analysis (Budget Breakdown)
Detailed analysis of the budget will be presented by the Commissioner, MoBP with key officers of the MoF, MoBP, ESEPC, Office of the Accountant General, Board of Internal Revenue and Office of the Economic Adviser to the Governor. The approved budget together with the budget policy statement will be published and circulated.