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TitleA model for budget management in the Free State provincial government
AuthorSchimper, Michael Casparus Eksteen
SubjectCentral University of Technology, Free State - Dissertations
SubjectBudget - South Africa - Free State
SubjectFinance, Public - South Africa - Free State
SubjectDissertations, academic - South Africa - Bloemfontein
DateNovember 2005
Format5042768 bytes, 1 file
AbstractThesis (D. Tech.) - Central University of Technology, Free State, 2005
AbstractThe primary objective of this research has been to undertake a critical investigation of the application of the budget process and the achievement of budget objectives in the Free State Provincial Government. The emphasis has been specifically on the planning and control functions of management. The justification for the research is the continuous demand for unlimited public services and the limited availability of the state‟s financial resources. The undertaking proceeded from the hypothetical viewpoint that a budget is designed to assure that public resources are spent according to the preferences of the taxpayer and the legislature. A budget promotes consistency in the process of resource allocation, and its implementation should be enforced by constant evaluation and monitoring. The research includes the following aspects: - The problems encountered by the Free State Provincial Government in its endeavors to optimize the effectiveness and efficiency of the implementation of the budget. - The fundamental principles of budget management in general, and in particular various types of budget and budget management techniques. - The evaluation of budgets as a basis for reporting on performance and the importance of such performance reports. The research methodology followed relies both on a survey of relevant literature and on empirical data. The former consists of a discussion regarding the extent to which the present budget system promotes effective and efficient budget control management and the achievement of budget objectives. As part of the empirical research an “ex post facto” analysis was undertaken of external audit reports and appropriation accounts over a period of fourteen years. In addition the fishbone or root-cause analysis approach was followed to identify core symptoms. The theoretical and empirical research yielded the following results: - The partial disturbance of the input/output relationship means that performance cannot be measured against profit as in the private sector. To compensate for this deficiency management should focus on financial statements and on audit and performance reports to measure performance. - Management needs to have an unimpeded access to budget information on the financial management system right from the beginning of each new financial year. - Estimates of expenditure (projections) should be captured on a monthly basis in the financial management system. With the implementation of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, budget projections must be regarded as compulsory. - Press reports and reports of the Auditor-General indicated that shortcomings relating to audit committees still exist both on national and provincial levels. This deficiency has a negative effect on the effectiveness of the internal audit function. - An annual percentage deviation in various departments between voted amounts and expenditure was substantial. In some instances the deviation - Losses should be monitored constantly, and management should be aware of the impact of losses and claims on financial resources. Their prevention should be part of each department‟s financial strategy. - Budget manipulation reduces the budget‟s effectiveness and efficiency as a means of performance measurement. The first possible solution to solve the problems associated with the budget is privatization of the service or function. The second possibility is the implementation of a quality control program. Its objective would be to reverse poor performance. To be successful, the quality control program should rely on clear accountabilities, effective partnerships and devoted leadership. A third recommendation might be the implementation of a quality assurance and quality control division for each department. The first component would gather all the necessary documentation to assure quality while the second would monitor effective application. The first requirement in measuring performance will be the motivation of all staff to be committed to the improvement of service delivery. The second challenge will be to train them accordingly. The third challenge will be the development of a performance report procedure for each department. A further recommendation is the analysis and reduction of underspending. Finally, accounting officers must implement effective and transparent processes of financial and risk management. Broadly viewed, the integration of budget and strategic planning initiatives of the National Treasury are a slow process that cannot be implemented overnight. National departments and provinces are, however, requested by National Treasury to improve on the outputs and the development of robust output performance measures and service delivery indicators. This viewpoint supports the proposed budget-management model aimed at effective objective achievement or sustainable development of the Free State. In future the budget management process could be based on this model to improve service delivery.
PublisherBloemfontein : Central University of Technology, Free State