Advocacy campaigns herald composite budgeting

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The implementation of the government’s composite budgeting system has begun with advocacy campaigns nationwide to educate people on the details of the new plan.

 The policy seeks to introduce uniformity in planning, budgeting, financial reporting and auditing of all metropolitan municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs).

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Under the new arrangement, the various MMDAs are to plan their own priority projects based on their own revenue mobilisation status to feed into the larger national budget. 

The first of such meetings was organised by the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) in Accra on Tuesday.

Cabinet, in 2010, decided to implement the policy starting from January 1, 2013.

Opening the meeting, the Director of Finance and Administration of the RCC, Alhaji Saaka Dramani, said the new method would guarantee participatory governance at the MMDA level and promote the ownership in the planning and budgeting systems of MMDAs.

It was also expected to facilitate prudent financial management in the MMDAs, he said.

Before the implementation of composite budgeting system, departments of MMDAs had their budgets from the various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that they held allegiance to at the central government level.

These budgets did not form part of the budgets of MMDAs. 

What the composite budgeting system means is to integrate budgets of MMDAs consistent with good financial management system.

Alhaji Dramani said preparation of warrants would now be done at the level of the MMDAs instead of receiving warrants from Accra thereby cutting down cost, time and the delay in processing warrants.

Composite budgeting has been piloted in about 25 MMDAs in Ghana since 2003. The composite budget process takes into consideration the preparations, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, just like the  national budget implementation process. 

He said locals would now have the power to hold local authorities accountable on the projects they promised to implement as they would be a part of the process.

Alhaji Dramani indicated that the consultation and advocacy project would be replicated nationwide.