By Emma Kakololo
High-level officials of the Ministry of Finance are meeting to come up with an action plan for the ministry.
The plan, said Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, was crucial and would enable her ministry to help Government in achieving its objectives.
“It is within the context of those politically determined objectives that we must develop the strategic plan,” she steered her team on Wednesday.
“Firstly, I want it to be based on the values and principles that guide the ministry.”
The principles, she said, were among others dedication, linked to a work ethic that saw quality as necessity, the technical knowledge required and the need to constantly upgrade it, loyalty in ensuring that actions met objectives, and honesty in dealings with the ministry and the public it serves.
“Next, it must fit within the key document that we use for planning –
the Medium term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Ministry’s Medium Term (MTP). The strategic plan will have to demonstrate how we shall ensure that the commitments in the MTEF and MTP are met,” she urged.
The MTEF also calls for a programme to improve the country Public Finance Management (PFM) system that supports the linking of financial sustainability to Government’s desired social and developmental outcomes.
It is implemented through a system for public expenditure that delivers results and value for money, revenue is collected fully and fairly from a widening base, risks are identified and properly managed, assets and liabilities are identified and deployed to optimal effect, there is transparency and accountability to Parliament and the public, and the necessary infrastructure is in place to allow PFM to work efficiently and effectively.
In addition she said, the Ministry’s plan should be in line with PFM reform.
“Our plan will also need to be forward looking, reflecting the challenges ahead, not necessarily the status quo.”
She said since the Programme Budgeting was introduced in 2005, by now the Ministry should be able to determine whether the resources being focused on, were yielding any results.
“How are we monitoring that and feeding the information into resource allocation decisions. Do we have a way of measuring the effectiveness spent?
“We may be good in ensuring the accuracy of data for cross-border trade that we know about. But, how do we ensure we capture current hidden transactions,” she said, adding that since the ministry was also in the business of service delivery, it should strive to measure the efficiency and quality of its services within the principles of the Public Service Charter.
“Our plan should include both measurable targets for improvement and mechanisms to correct poor performances.”
The workshop started on Monday and ends tomorrow.