Budget Cycle in Brief Page 2
Ministry Of Finance Prepares Prioritized Listing
Once the submissions are in order, the Ministry of Finance selects the New Initiative/Programmes in order of priority as indicated on the Ministries prioritized listing. As such a schedule is prepared ranking them to fit the allotments assigned to Ministries.
The selected New Initiatives by allotment are then taken to the Minister of Finance for his approval. Once the New Initiatives are approved they are then incorporated into the Base Budget to form the Ministry/Department’s budget.
Caucus (Budget Committee)
The remaining New Initiatives/Programmes are then compiled into a schedule by the Ministry of Finance and taken to the Budget Committee where Ministers and their Permanent Secretaries determine which New Initiatives/Programmes are to be given priority and included in the budget based on the availability of funds.
Again the Minister of Finance approves the selected New Initiatives which will be incorporated into the Ministries/Departments Budgets.
Cabinet (Appropriation Bill)
Once the Budget is completed it is submitted to the Cabinet along with the Appropriation Bill (the Appropriation Bill is the legislation that introduces the Budget into the laws). Any changes made in the House of Assembly will be submitted to House of Assembly in the form of a corrigendum.
House of Assembly (Budget Address)
Once the Appropriation Bill and Draft Budget have been approved by the Cabinet they are submitted for introduction into the Legislative Council. The Minister asks that Standing Orders be suspended to permit the first and second reading of the Appropriation Bill and permit him to read his Budget Address after which the meeting is adjourned.
Standing Finance Committee
Council then reorganizes itself into a committee called the Standing Finance Committee chaired by the Speaker to examine the Budget document head by head. Accounting Officers are invited to explain and rationalize their submissions and answer any questions members may have.
Once Standing Finance Committee is completed Council resumes into a formal sitting, at which time the Report of the Standing Finance Committee is presented. The Minister of Finance calls for a second reading of the Appropriation Bill and explains in brief the provisions, after which the debate begins. The Appropriation Bill is read a third time and passed.
Budget Approved (General Warrant)
Once the Appropriation Bill is passed the Budget is approved. A General Warrant is signed by the Minister of Finance authorizing expenditure.
Ministry Of Finance Services the Budget
The Budget Unit then enters the Budget into the system, the Ministries and Departments record expenditure. The Budget Unit is responsible for servicing the Budget (processing Reallocation Warrants, Advances, releasing Purchase Orders, etc.)
Auditing Of Accounts
After the close of the financial year the Auditor General audits the accounts.