The public?s demand for improved service delivery, transparency and accountability in the use of public resources has been the driving force in the making of the law.

This is a welcome move for procurement practitioners, accounting officers, private businesses that need to have funds available early in the year. Many projects faced procurement problems because many require a 20% or more down- payment, which was not available when required because the national budget had not been approved.

The act is part of a number of new measures to strengthen public financial management. It consolidates previously scattered laws on public finance management. It provides for the management of oil and gas revenues.

The act has however been critcised by some economists for lacking fiscal rules that can guide in the management of oil funds and protecting the economy from oil price volatility.

Prof. Augustus Nuwagaba, a former Mkaerere University economics lecturer said the act was a good law in principle because it seeks to instill prudence in budget management.

?It creates a contingency fund as a control of supplementary budget, provides indicators for sovereign debt management,? Nuwagaba said. He recommended that the IMF decisions on aid/ debt issues must involve all critical stake holders.

He said the budget should adopt a ?flagship? approach where resources are concentrated in one area. He observed that monitoring the budget performance and budget discipline were essential ingredients for the success of the budget.

Public finance is a field of economics concerned with how governments raise money, how that money is spent and the effects of these activities on the economy and on society.

John Odyek, The New Vision


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