Members of Parliament want the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to explain the recent shift to programme-based budgeting from sector-based budgeting.
The Budget Committee on Thursday, 05 January 2023 together with other committee chairpersons was expected to meet the Ministry of Finance over the Budget Framework Paper for the financial year 2023/2024 but the ministry officials did not appear.
However, many members questioned the programme-based budgeting. Some said that although government seeks to ensure better service delivery and to improve value for money through programme-based budgeting, scrutinizing the funds under programmes is an uphill task compared to sector based budgeting.
The Budget Committee Chairperson, Hon. Patrick Isiagi said the leaders of the committees also want to understand the relevance of the shift from sector to programme based budgeting.
“There are issues that Parliament is interested in; we needed clarification from Finance on the presented BFP which is designed under programmes and not undervotes. Parliament is interested in getting clarity on which programmes are falling where,” Isiagi said.
Isiagi added that based on the rules, the budget issues are handled by sector committees which are linked to votes, but when the BFP is in programme format, there is a need to get them details and links to see how the committee can proceed.
The Chairperson of the Finance Committee, Keefa Kiwanuka said that whereas the Budget Framework Paper has been presented in programme formats, the Finance Committee specifically needs to deal with the budget in terms of the different votes.
West Budama South Member of Parliament, Emmanuel Otaala said that whereas the government is involved in the merger of institutions, there is no linkage of this with the Budget Framework Paper.
Gorreth Namugga, (NUP, Mawogola South) said the Ministry’s absence makes them lag. She said that there is a need to reduce the wastage of tax payer’s money.
“We have sat and used the facilities of Parliament but the Ministry of Finance is not here. They committed the Chatter of Fiscal Responsibility that they will reduce all inefficiencies and nugatory areas in the budget, these are some of the areas,” she said.