Good financial governance: changing over to a programme-based budget
Title: Strengthening good financial governance in Burkina Faso
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Burkina Faso
Lead executing agency: Ministère de l'Economie, des Finances et du Développement (Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Development – MINEFID)
Overall term: 2015 to 2018
Prompted by the framework legislation on public finance adopted by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) in 2009, Burkina Faso and seven other countries have undertaken to introduce a programme-based budget by 2017. Despite considerable progress in changing the system over to this type of results-oriented budgeting, the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Development (MINEFID) responsible for the process still faces fundamental challenges.
One of the major problems to date has been the lack of a systemic approach that takes account of all subsystems of public finance in the strategic steering and implementation of the reform. Furthermore, the institutions of internal and external financial control are not yet in a position to conduct an effective audit of budgeting in a programme format. Similarly, civil society needs to further develop its capacity to demand accountability concerning the use of budget funds in order to strengthen the role it can play in the political consensus-building process. The key efficiency and transparency criteria in budget management are thus not yet in place.
The budget reform is geared towards efficiency, transparency and accountability.
The programme supports the government of Burkina Faso in systematically introducing a programme-based budget; it aligns its activities with the national sector reform strategy for the economy and finance. The overarching goal of the strategy is to ensure that budget management is geared towards transparency, efficiency and conformity with rules. The programme develops expertise and management skills and supports mutually reinforcing cooperation between all the stakeholders of budget reform.
It advises the finance ministry on implementing the reform strategy. In particular, it helps the technical secretariat of the steering committee on the introduction of the state programme-based budget to shape its steering and coordination role more strategically and systematically. The Directorate General for the Budget, which is responsible for budget preparation and implementation, is also receiving assistance with its reorganisation, and its specialist resources are being strengthened. In order to mainstream the reform across the board, the programme is providing advice to these entities on cooperation within and between the ministries and on their roles as advisors to the ministries concerned. The action plan on budget reform, for example, is to be developed and implemented in cooperation with all the relevant divisions and with the external financial control institutions.
The programme strengthens the bodies responsible for internal and external financial control of the finance ministry in order to enhance transparency and accountability in budgeting: for ex ante controls, supervision, internal inspections and cost-effectiveness audits. As the central institution of external financial control, the Court of Auditors of Burkina Faso is receiving comprehensive expert advisory services and advice on networking with other external financial control structures, such as parliament and civil society.
Civil society networks in the field of public finance are being supported to step up the demand for accountability. The programme assists civil society organisations in enhancing their expertise on results-oriented budgeting, preparing joint analyses on public finance issues and placing them on the agenda of public debate in cooperation with the external financial control institutions. These include the Centre for Information, Training and Studies on the Budget, the Centre for the Democratic Governance of Burkina Faso, the national anti-corruption network REN-LAC and the umbrella organisation of non-governmental organisations.