BUDGET SPEECH 2002
PROGRAMME BASED BUDGETING FOR EFFICIENT RESOURCE ALLOCATION
AND USE WITH A POVERTY REDUCTION DIMENSION
- I beg to move that " The Bill entitled an Act to provide for the services
of the Gambia for the period 1st January, 2002 to 31st
December, 2002 (both dates inclusive)" be read a second time.
- About one year ago, a question was asked: "Can Africa claim the 21st
century?" More than a year after today, to what extent are we prepared
to say "yes" to this question, not for Africa as a whole but for our
country as a part of the whole. To what extent have we reduced the poverty
of our people – to what extent have we brought food to them, education
to our children, health to all and uplifted the general economic well
being of the citizenry? I am afraid we are still far from an assertive
- Every year we budget and implement, and at the end of the implementation
we budget again, year after year. Why do we budget and what do we hope
to achieve by the implementation? The time has come for a change. The
desire for change is not foreign to man; it is rather intrinsic in his
very nature. Adam Smith of old wrote "such is the delicacy of man alone
that no object is produced to his liking. He finds that in everything
there is a need for improvement" (Bathia - History of Economic Thought).
It is in the nature of man to strive for change, variety and greater
perfection. These principles underlie the basis of our desire for change.
We want our budget implementation process to continuously better the
lot of our people and the reporting medium (the budget speech) to increasingly
reflect the realities of progress being registered in the economy.
- Today, our people continue to be afflicted by acute poverty (69% of
persons and 54% of households) with most of our social indicators lying
far below the internationally acceptable minimum levels. Infant and
under-5 mortality rates are as high as 61 and 80 per thousand populations.
Access to safe drinking water stands at 79% (97% for urban and 50% for
rural), the doctor patient ratio is one to every 15,269 population and
the patient per bed ratio is 916 per bed. Overall life expectancy is
59.3 years. The combined enrolment ratio is 41% while adult literacy
is as low as 33.1%. Infrastructural development is still at an infancy
stage with only 20% of the total road network paved. These are but only
a few of the daunting challenges that we must confront and overcome,
if we should win the fight against poverty and deprivation.
Mr Speaker, Sir
- Averting the trend of these indicators and what they measure, among
others, is the reason why we budget. And here we should not question
how much we have done or spent so far, but rather how we spent it. Our
change of strategy would therefore be one of re-orientation from the
conventional line-item approach to a Programme Based Budgeting (PBB).
The object is to approach issues in such a way as to be able to measure
the outcome of our activities against set targets, identify bottlenecks
and design solution strategies. More fundamentally, PBB allows us to
prioritise our activities, especially when revenues are not forthcoming
and donor-fatigue is becoming more and more apparent.
- The foundation of an operational programme budgeting system is an
articulated master plan defining the goals and objectives of the sector.
What this is saying is that, all sectors that do not have national policies
should come up with one. Based on the policy, programmes and activities
would then be developed towards attaining the objectives of the policy.
The programmes and activities would then be fitted to a budgetary time
frame for implementation. Consequently, all budget submissions would
be based on a proper costing of such activities for each year.
- It is with much hope that I report to you today, that this process
has started with the Department of State for Education and is at an
advanced stage of expansion for the Departments of State for Health
and Social Welfare and Department of State for Agriculture. The good
news with these pilot Departments of State is that they all had sector
policies. Thus the bulk of their work involves conducting a Public Expenditure
Review (PER) to identify the direction of their spending in the past
– whether this conforms to the objective of the policy.
- Issues to focus on in the PER process may cover policy, institutional,
as well as, resource issues. Based on this, a full report assessing
the relevance of sector policies, the appropriateness of programmes,
and the alignment of expenditure with policy priorities should be carried
out. Programme based budgeting clearly requires sectors and agencies
to develop policies with qualitative and quantitative targets, costed
programmes that support these policies and a clear performance evaluation
Mr Speaker Sir,
- After developing our policy goals and targets into programmes, we
would then adapt them to a Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
The MTEF is a form of programme based rolling plan, where programme
implementation is spread over a given number of years e.g. three years.
Whatever activity could not be implemented in the first year of plan
implementation is carried forward to the second year. The spill over
of the second year is then moved on to the third year and so on, so
that at any one time you have programmes for implementation spanning
over three budget years.
- The environment for this change is very encouraging. The biggest constraint
in this effort has been the manpower needs, which is now being addressed
by various capacity building projects namely:
EMCBP, CBEMP just to name a few. One of these – the CBEMP has the added
task of adapting the budget process to the MTEF. All these would be
undertaken in the pursuit of poverty reduction and in a framework that
fosters greater efficiency in resource management and allows for the
participation of civil society in the formulation and evaluation of
the projects and programmes that make up the budget.
- In furtherance of the objectives for increased participation in the
national resource allocation process (the national budget), the government
has taken the initiative to organise a broad based two-day workshop
with the aim of enhancing participants’ understanding of the mechanics
of government financing. Workshops of this nature, it is believed, will
bring about greater participation by all stakeholders in the budget
process. My Department of State has launched The Economic Watch, a quarterly
newsletter this month that will inform the public on key developments
in the economy. We hope that all these interventions will ensure an
efficient and effective resource allocation to progressively reduce
and hopefully eliminate the incidence of poverty.
II. THE WORLD ECONOMY
III. THE DOMESTIC ECONOMY
IV. CO-OPERATION AND INTEGRATION
V. OUTTURN OF THE 2001 BUDGET
VI. POVERTY ALLEVIATION AND THE SOCIAL SECTOR STRATEGY
VII. POVERTY REDUCTION THROUGH INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY
VIII. POVERTY REDUCTION THROUGH INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPEMENT
IX. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
X. GOVERNANCE ISSUES
XI. NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS (NGOs)
XII. PUBLIC ENTERPRISES (PEs)
XIII. FISCAL PROJECTION FOR 2002