Mr Seth Botchway, Principal Economic Officer of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has called for a business-like approach to the process of budget development and monitoring at all units of national development.
He claimed that some schedule officers were pushing figures of the previous year slightly up to arrive at estimates for the upcoming year without thorough evaluation of planned projects and estimated spending.
Mr Botchway was delivering a paper on Budget Preparations, Framework and Reporting, at a public financial management workshop in Ho.
The workshop was attended by District Co-ordinating Directors, District Finance Officers and Budget Officers from the Volta Region, among other areas.
It was organized by the Audit Service in collaboration with the Controller and Accountant Generals Department, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and the Environment, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the Public Procurement Agency.
Topics treated included, Budget and Public Expenditure Management System, Internal and External Scrutiny and the Legal and Regulatory Framework.
He said while the job of making and monitoring budgets was multi-sectoral, the trend was for the desk officer to virtually single-handedly craft one, which other officers rush to implement during spending time.
Mr Botchway said monitoring budgets was also important for any management, which knew the nature and size of the projected revenue flow and the variation in costs built into spending in order to stay on course.
He said the processes of approving budgets was inviolable, adding that there could not be spending before approval at any level of national management.
Mr Botchway noted that estimates prepared by the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies were hardly put to tests by assembly members since many of them had no skills to comprehend the issues at stake.
He observed that cutting of cost should not considered in regard to across board slash of spending for all categories, but must be informed by a thorough evaluation of expenditure, projects, needs and strategies in reference to intended results.
Mr Botchway, said roundtrips of two officers to one area, planned for different times could be merged into one trip by the same officials, on one vehicle, to the same locality but attending to different schedules.
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