Budget hearing is one part of the budget preparation process. It is a meeting that gives the opportunity to the federal public bodies to explain and justify their budget request to MOFED so that it enables MOFED to proceed to the preparation of a draft recommended budget. This information serves as the basis for allocation of available funds. It provides for effective communication among all administrative levels in the budgeting process and provides an appropriate and financially sound method of allocation funds.
During the budget hearing the following issues are taken into consideration for both capital and recurrent budget requests.
- Each public body should be able to justify their budget requests with supporting documentation if called upon by MOFED.
- Budget requests should be based on the responsibilities of each public body to implement its action plan for the coming fiscal year.
- Medium term plans including PASDEP, sectoral plans and the strategic plan for each public body should be considered when preparing and prioritizing budget requests.
- The budget allocation requests for programs, sub-agencies, sub-programs and projects should be properly prioritized.
- Requests for increased budget allocations from the existing levels of recurrent expenditure should be elaborated.
- Justification for the budget requests in excess of the advised ceilings. Budget requests should be prepared within the limits of the budget ceilings (by source of finance) and using the formats advised by MOFED.
- Priority should be given to expenditure requirements for existing or ongoing programs and projects. Budget requests should ensure that existing programs, facilities, infrastructure and services are adequately funded and maintained, before giving consideration to the funding of new programs or projects.
- Evaluation of the actual recurrent expenditure and the adjusted recurrent budget of last year, identify unnecessary expenditures that may be cut this year, and determine which must be included for the coming year.
- Determine if there have been any changes in decisions, directives, rules and regulations that affect activities of public bodies and which might have effect on their recurrent budget requirement.
- Budget requests for the coming financial year should be comparable with current year’s budget and estimated annual expenditure outturn for the current year.
- Evaluation of the capital budget of last year, identify programs and projects that will be completed this year, and which may be ongoing in the coming budget year.
- Priority given to the ongoing programs and projects and estimate the amount of resources required to complete them. The budget request for ongoing projects should only be for the activities to be performed in the coming fiscal year.
- The capacity of the public body to implement and manage the project.
- Costs of the projects.
- The availability of project feasibility or study documents for the proposed project. New projects need to be based on studies and should have clear objectives and goals.
- The recurrent budget implications of the completed capital project. Once the project is completed, what will be the annual recurrent operating costs to maintain and support the service or infrastructure, and will recurrent funding be available to the public body over the medium term to fund these costs.