Public Finance Management Act 2015 ushers in new system
The newly passed Public Finance Act (2015) has ushered in a new regime of public expenditure management. The act has already seen changes in the time table for preparing and passing the budget.
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 of Makerere University said the act was a good law in principle because it seeks to instill prudence in budget management.