Govt unnecessary spending to go up by 5 per cent

The government overall unnecessary budget expenditure are expected to go up by 5 per cent in 2013/14 fiscal year instead of descending as envisaged.

The analysis by Sikika, a non-government organization (NGO), shows that the so-called expenditure expected to pop-up to 714bn/- in the next budget against 681bn/- of the current fiscal budget.

“Our analysis has shown that most Accounting Officers have increase allocations for unnecessary expenditure items,” the report, released yesterday shows. It added: “thereby, (Accounting Officers) failed to adhere to the Budget Guidelines that are of paramount importance for effective implementation of the next budget”.

The Sikika’s report ‘Unnecessary Expenditures 2013/14’ says these overall changes capture the allocated decisions of 61 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and 25 regions.

“Only 13 MDAs and 16 regions reduced their estimated overall unnecessary expenditures while the rest did not,” the report, released yesterday, shows. 
Among the remarkable finding in the report was that the National Assembly Fund plans cutting its non-discretionary allowances down by 84 per cent from 46bn/- in 2012/13 to 8.0bn/- in 2013/14.

It also cuts the ‘Travel – In-Country’ budget down by 3.5bn/-or 18 per cent. Other remarkable areas where the Ministry of Home Affairs – Police Force that cuts down its ‘fuel, oils, lubricants’ budget down by 3.3bn/- or 20 per cent and the Ministry of Water that reduced the allocation for ‘hospitality supplies and services’ by 79 per cent from 340m/- to 71m/-.

Also on the list of god performer are the Immigration Department that cuts the budget for ‘acquisition of vehicles and transportation’ down by 2.9bn/- or 56 per cent and the National Audit Office which cuts ‘training–domestic’ by about 888m/- or 38 per cent.

The efforts to get a comment form the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Dr William Mgimwa was fruitless yesterday as the minister was not picking up his mobile phone.

However, while the minister concern was not reached the ministry under his docket increases training budget ten-fold from 885m/- in 2012/13 to 8.8bn/- in 2013/14. The report show: “budget allocations for all kinds of trainings are increasing again despite the clear instruction by the Ministry of Finance to reduce those costs.”

In total the expenditures for training were 52bn/- in the 2011/12, the government plans to spend 79bn/- during the coming 2013/14. This is 37bn/- or 53 per cent more than two years before.

While after a steep increase of 41 per cent in the previous year, the government’s estimated expenditures for ‘fuel, oils, lubricants’ increase moderately by 6.0 per cent to 71bn/-.

Other ministries that seem to go against the budget guideline and increase their unnecessary expenditure include Defense were its fuel allocation jumped by 54 per cent from 10bn/- in 2012/13 to 15bn/- in 2013/14.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation increases its budgets for allowances by 59 per cent from 21bn/- in 2012/13 to 34bn/- in 2013/14. While State House increases its ‘acquisition of vehicles and transportation’ budget more than four-fold from 750m/- in 2012/13 to 7.0bn/- in 2013/14.

The report says estimated expenditures for ‘hospitality supplies and services’ are expected to increase by 19 per cent from 20bn/- in the 2012/13 to 24bn/- in the 2013/14. “This renders the previous year’s cuttings of 8.0 per cent as useless,” the Sikika’s report indicates.

The analysis findings show that after an increase of 15 per cent in the previous year, the total of various kinds of allowances stagnates at 360bn/- in the 2013/14. However, this non-discretionary’ account for almost 90 per cent of all kinds of allowances.

Since 2008, the government has committed itself to avoid incurring expenditures that are of little value to the well-being of the citizens. The budget guidelines of the upcoming fiscal year 2013/14 instruct

Accounting Officers to sustain “austerity expenditure measure” by taking cost reduction measures particularly in such areas as seminars and workshops; public ceremonies, payment of non-statutory allowances; procurement of furniture and motor vehicles.

The guideline, specifically, during budget preparation, Accounting Officers should ensure that seminars and workshops are strictly controlled and preferably conducted in public facilities.
Source: The Daily News, reported from Tanzania
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