The Rt. Hon. Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, has called for a review of the budgeting process to avoid a stampede towards the deadline provided by the law.
“We need to make changes in the way we handle the budget in the new financial year. We did a lot of things at the very last minute,” said Oulanyah.
The Speaker’s recommendation came barely a day after Parliament approved a Shs 29 trillion budget for the 2017/2018 financial year, a few hours ahead of the 31st May deadline provided by the Public Finance Management Act.
Parliament last week considered, concluded and approved Committee Reports on Ministerial Policy Statements. The Budget Committee, could however not present its Report comprising budget allocations to the different votes, as it met on consecutive days trying to agree and harmonise the figures. These meetings went on until Wednesday as plenary waited for their report.
Parliament also had to consider the Appropriation Bill, 2017 which authorizes government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Fund Account.
“It would help if we try to finish everything in good time. It will help us raise all the concerns and we’ll see how the budget can be more accommodative,” said Oulanyah.
He said that some issues that should have been done in the committees were not handled, pushing more work to the plenary, which could also not make some of the required changes as the budget deadline drew close.
“I pray that this is the last time this is happening; and make it better in the next financial year,” said Oulanyah.
The Public Finance Management Act, 2015 sets out the process and timelines of the budgeting process by government and Parliament.