Dossier de la Rédaction


Imperative Efficiency In Programme Budgeting!

The year 2015 marks the end of the first triennial budgeting in Cameroon.

 The results-driven programme budget, as it is called, swung into full action on January 1, 2013 on the strength of the revolutionary 2007 law instituting a new finance regime for the Republic of Cameroon.

This meant that the hitherto budgeting system whereby envelops were attributed to ministries for them to determine how and on what to use the money was henceforth history. With the programme budget, ministries are obliged to come up with well defined programmes after efficient feasibility studies must have been carried out on how much they will cost and their impact on the socio-economic lives of beneficiaries. Means is then given based on the programme selected.  

Since take off, stakeholders of the State budget in various ministries meet once every year to evaluate how they have fared, jointly look at where each and every ministry faltered so as to seek ways of righting the wrongs. One of such meetings ended in Yaounde last week and hopes are that erring ministries have been set back on the rails to make 2015 better than 2013 and 2014 in terms of project execution notably those financed from the public investment budget.

As 2015 draws to its close, it would therefore be time to evaluate the efficacy of the innovation which many have hailed as a prudent way out of mismanagement and a trigger to meaningful and sustainable development. It would be but logical to carry on the assessment given the context under which the adjustments were made coupled with the long-term development vision engaged by the Yaounde authorities with priority on using what the country has to get what it needs.  Many are certainly waiting for the appraisal with the pious hope that stakeholders will come up with a detailed and above all an uncompromising balance sheet on the performance of the first three years of the programme budget.

Even before that is done, if observation is anything to go by, one would say even without blinking that much ground still needs to be covered to make programme budgeting what it was meant to be. There is a general feeling that vote holders are finding it hard to part ways with the old habits which were seemingly juicy for them but detrimental to general interest.

If not, how can one explain the fact that some ministries still fail to detail their programmes even when the 2007 law on the financial regime of the State makes provision for that? Why is there no uniformity in the way different ministries prepare and present their budgets? While one school of thought holds that this might be as a result of ignorance, yet another believes it is sheer bad faith.

What we retain however is that much has been done in terms of sensitisation sometimes even at the level of Ministers and all those involved in the budget execution chain. Regulatory instruments have also been reinforced and updated. Inefficiency in the execution of the programme budget from every indication therefore cannot be blamed on existing texts. Man’s old bad habits that are stubbornly resisting death must die.

2016 will serve as an opportunity for all and sundry to rise above self and give the programme budget the firing power it needs to move the economy to a middle-income one. Efficiency in the new development tool is imperative. To say the least, it should be non-negotiable if the Cameroon of tomorrow must be better than that of today.

Commentaires (0)
Seul les utilisateurs enregistrés peuvent écrire un commentaire!

!joomlacomment 4.0 Copyright (C) 2009 . All rights reserved."

haut de page