The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development- (MoFED) has held a one day workshop at the Miatta Conference Hall, Brookfields, Freetown, Friday 25th. September, 2015. This programme was organized in order to sensitize stakeholders such as Ministers, Members of Parliament-(MPs), Staff of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), etc ; on the benefits and impacts of the activity based budgeting approach under the MTEF. And also, to train participants on the Revised Strategic Planning Template consistent with policy objectives in the Agenda for Prosperity-(AfP).
The Secretary to Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service , Dr. Ernest Surrur, in his statement said, he was very happy to attend the workshop and to give support and share experiences gained in assessing MDAs. "Budgeting and performance must be linked together. It is important for MoFED to link budgeting and performance," he admonished.
Dr. Surrur stressed that there are certain MDAs that should be given more resources than the others because of their responsibilities in addressing basic needs of citizens. The Ministries include Agriculture, Social Welfare and Transport and Health should be provided with more resources, if we do not want the people to suffer. For health Ministry, Dr. Surrur emphasized the need for diagnostic tools and potent drugs. "No matter how educated a doctor may be, he needs tools to do his work properly. People die because of minor causes. Our medical doctors are brilliant but do not have enough adequate tools to diagnose illnesses", he says.
Dr. Surrur admonished MDAs to ensure that their targets they set for themselves should be budgeted for, otherwise it would be difficult for them to achieve their mandates or objectives. He said vote controllers must emphasize not just productivity but also efficiency and avoid frugal spending. " Choices or prioritization should target use of little resources that create big impacts and that Government spending should reflect improvement in the lives of citizens", he said.
The topics of discussion at the workshop were : The focus on the 2016-2018 MTEF Budget in line with the Agenda for Prosperity and the Post-Ebola Recovery Programme; Activity based budgeting -achievements and challenges ; Activity based budgeting -conceptualization and methodology; Using the template to drive cost of activities; PIP submission template; Linking manpower performance to activity based budgeting and the way forward.
By: Musa Conteh, Information Officer, CABSEC