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Deputy Finance boss Brunson on budget preparation

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Deputy Finance Minister for Budget and Development Planning Madam Tanneh G. Brunson has said addressing the current economic challenges facing Liberia requires proper budgetary preparation.She called for an improved and participatory budget process, particularly, Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) that provides the requisite platform to set the economy on the growth trajectory with the view of leaving no one behind.

Addressing a recent two-day consultative workshop on the Draft Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) implementation strategy, which brought together line ministries and agencies of government in Monrovia, she said Medium Term Fiscal Framework is the first, necessary step towards a Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) along with fiscal policy objectives and a set of integrated medium-term macroeconomic fiscal targets and projections.

Deputy Minister Brunson added that this is followed by a medium term budget framework which builds on the first step by developing medium term estimates for individual spending agencies.She further explained that the medium term budget framework (MTEF) allocates resources to strategic national priorities and ensures consistency of these allocations with overall fiscal objectives, adding that this strengthens the predictability of the budget to spending agencies and also ensures overall fiscal discipline.

“Our economy is currently confronted with a number of macroeconomic challenges such as high inflation, exchange rate depreciation, high rate of unemployment, and in addition, there is public outcry for greater efficiency accountability and governments worldwide, at all levels now use performance measurement in one form or another”, she noted.

The Deputy Finance boss also stressed the need for a strategic and results-oriented performance management system that would move beyond measuring mere outputs to a system and provide actionable data on efficiency and effectiveness, noting, “Instead of simply counting and recording data, we must now adopt a performance management system to facilitate a transformation that is mission-driven, and must also define strategic goals in terms of outcomes for the country and create institutional mechanisms to ensure objectives for each focus area that would be met.”

Madam Brunson disclosed that a medium term expenditure framework adds elements of activity and output based budgeting to the MTBF that seeks to improve the value for money of public spending, in addition to reinforcing fiscal disciplines, including; greater macroeconomic balance; improved inter-and intra-sectoral resource allocation; greater budgetary predictability for line ministries; and more efficient use of public funds.

She continued that to make this approach work in a governmental setting requires organizational support for developing and implementing the strategy which is fundamental to success, and must emanate from senior policymakers, including the chief executive. By Emmanuel Mondaye–Editing by Jonathan Browne

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