Linking budgets to plans in a constrained resource and institutional environment: The Case of Uganda
The enactment of Uganda’s first National Development Plan has largely been marked by poor implementation of its activities, leading to poor budget outcomes. This has largely been due to the inaccuracies of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) in forecasting the budget, to leakage, and to the tendency of the executive branch of government to make public promises in the budget. The slow progress of the effort to mobilise domestic revenues and the significant reduction in donor financing have exacerbated the problem, leading to an accumulation of arrears by way of supplementary budgets. Absorption constraints, as a consequence of lack of expenditure control at the sectoral level, are also partly responsible for the poor integration of budgets into plans. The paper suggests reforms aimed at increasing technical capacity at three levels: budget forecasting, budget operation in responding to budget shortfalls/surplus, and technical efficiency and effectiveness in sectoral reallocation in the face of implementation costs. The paper also emphasises the importance of political institutional support in demanding performance, transparency and accountability for sustainable budgetary outcomes.
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