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La voix des sans voix en République Centrafricaine

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Nation: Mr. Henri Marie Dondra, here are the big weaknesses of our public finances!


On 14 January 2017, Mr. Henri Marie Dondra, former Minister for Finance and Budget, organized a press conference to review our public finances and the reforms implemented since then. Upon arrival, a press conference of self-satisfaction. But a self-satisfaction which is not in the opinion of all the fighters of freedom and democracy.

A good public finance and budget management system is essential for the implementation of national policies and the implementation of the numerous development projects, through the achievement of three main budgetary objectives, namely budgetary discipline, The strategic allocation of resources and the efficient delivery of public services. This transparent and organized system must necessarily involve effective control of budgetary aggregates and risk management in order to maintain budgetary discipline, planning and execution of the budget based on national priorities in order to facilitate the achievement of government objectives , And good management of the use of budgeted resources to achieve efficient service delivery and optimal use of resources.

Unfortunately for the past several years, the successive governments of this country have done nothing to give our budget a transparent and organized character that is based on the six (6) essential dimensions of a good system Public finance management: the credibility of the budget; Comprehensiveness and transparency; Budgeting based on national policies; Predictability and control of budget execution; Accounting, recording of information and financial reporting; External monitoring and verification.

In this regard, it is sufficient to compare the scrupulous observance of these budgetary principles in certain countries, such as Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, and Rwanda, with the realities that guide the execution of the finance laws in the Central African Republic. It is obvious that it is unorthodox and opaque practices that govern our country.

The credibility of the budget: the budget is realistic and it is executed as planned.

This means that if in the current budget it is allocated 6 million CFA francs for the purchase of office supplies for the Cabinet Directorate of the Ministry of Territory Administration, this expenditure must be paid monthly Committed, ordered, liquidated and paid. The object of the expenditure of 500,000 CFA francs per month, namely office supplies (paper reams, brick packs, notebooks, etc.), must be delivered for the operation of the relevant services Of this Directorate. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Apart from salaries that are processed monthly, scheduled and paid, all other expenditure items of the State either are not incurred and fall into the mass at the end of the year, or are actually committed, but the Benefits are partially implemented, or are not at all realized, or the funds are simply diverted by the managers in collusion with the state’s suppliers (some of whom have no office, staff, material and Logistics). This is the case for the appropriations allocated annually, on the budget or the financing of the State, to projects for the construction of schools, health centers, roads, drilling of drinking water, etc.

Comprehensiveness and transparency: Budget and monitoring of budgetary risks are exhaustive and financial and budgetary information is accessible to the public.

These technical terms simply mean that the budget documentation (the annual budget and the annexed documents) submitted to the National Assembly for examination and approval must give a complete picture of the forecasts, the appropriations allocated by entities and especially the results of the previous financial years . In addition to detailed information on revenue and expenditure, budget documentation, to be considered complete and annual, should include the following information: macroeconomic assumptions, ie total growth estimates and inflation rates and Exchange rates; The budget deficit; Financing the deficit; The total stock of debt; Financial assets; The implementation of the budget for the previous financial year; The budget for the current financial year; A summary of government revenues and expenditures; The explanation of the consequences of new government initiatives on the budget and fiscal and customs policy. If, in general, all the aforementioned information has been included since then in the documentation submitted, the absence of the detailed statement of implementation of the budget for the previous financial year should be noted. The absence of this important document and the inaccessibility of the public to the main budgetary information (press, websites, newspaper sales, etc.) therefore do not provide an accurate picture of the resources, expenses and proposed projects Their achievements, difficulties or delays in their executions to better analyze the draft of this amending budget law. This weakness has always limited the ability of governments to maintain fiscal discipline, manage risks well, and only weaken the capacity of the legislature, civil society and the media to assess the implementation of priority commitments By the government, and local governments. Hence the waste of resources and the reduction or non-existence of services. To correct this deficiency, the State must ensure, as soon as possible, that the Directorate of Financial Control, an a priori control body, on the spot and on the spot, is undisputed and undisputed. Participating in the execution of the budget and having the Delegates of the Financial Controller close to the ministerial departments, state companies, public offices and others, and close to the municipalities, this directorate will be able to contribute to the realization of a bank Data and information on the execution of the budget, and essential to the production of the law of settlement. Regrettably, Decree No. 16.356 of 11 November 2016 has simply relegated it to the rank of a management and submission body, placed under the supervision of the DGB.

Budgeting based on national policies: the budget is established taking into account public policies.

As a budget law is simply a political program, a public policy-based budgeting process allows the government to plan the use of resources in accordance with its fiscal policy and the national strategy. This means that the absence of some departments in budget conferences and the automatic assignment or the tacit renewal of appropriations may lead to the establishment of a budget that is not in line with the budgetary framework and to reduce the importance given Objectives in the final budget negotiations. This always justifies the allocation of resources not taking into account the priorities of the government, the departments and other beneficiary entities and the new initiatives. In this regard, it is imperative to urge the Prime Minister to reconsider the latest instructions restricting the accessibility of certain ministerial departments, certain state companies and, even worse, local authorities (with regard to taxes Mining taxes and slaughter fees payable to the municipalities by the various forest companies and housed in an account at the BEAC, pursuant to the terms of a presidential instruction signed by General François Bozizé) to their accounts in the commercial banks of the square. This will ensure optimal use of resources for beneficiary entities, and will effectively contribute to the creation of employment and wealth. But can not the appreciable increase in the appropriations for prestige expenditure, such as presidential and governmental actions, be regarded as an act of total lack of good will on the part of the new authorities to put an end to these legal practices And legitimate illicit enrichment, thus depriving certain sectors of hope of health and education of indispensable resources?

Predictability and monitoring of budget execution: the budget is executed in an orderly and predictable manner, and mechanisms exist to monitor and monitor the use of public funds.

This is the opportunity to denounce the responsibility of the financial authorities in the disorderly execution of the budget. If we talk about resources, we must talk about the effectiveness of the collection of tax and customs levies and the too important role of customs, tax and treasury officials. However, since the assumption of power by President Touadera, if at the General Directorate of Customs and Indirect Rights, the movements of personnel were carried out according to the rules of the art, taking into account the criteria of competence, It has not been the same in all the other financial authorities, to such a degree that one is entitled to ask oneself why only this movement was more or less well done at the customs. To answer this question, it is now high time, in order to allow the State to effectively dispose of its own resources, that Decree No. 16.356 be revised as regards the Directorate General of Taxes and Domains, Directorate General of the Treasury and Public Accounts, and the General Directorate of the Budget (Directorate of the Balance and the Directorate of Pensions) where demotivation and disengagement have reigned since the end of the transition and where mainly practices of detention of receipts Misappropriation of public funds, and deliberate retention or blocking in the processing of cases (such as what happens in the Pensions Directorate where retirees have to wear out and use all means to obtain Successful). The same must be the case with the Financial Control Department, which must be attached to the firm and the General Direction of Public Contracts which intervene in the execution and internal control or a priori expenditure. As regards the Directorate-General for Public Contracts, one of whose substantive responsibilities consists in disseminating the provisions of Act No. 08.017 of 06 June 2008 relating to the Public Procurement Code and their appropriation by credit managers and administrators, one Special emphasis should be placed on proven competencies, real mastery of technicality, and profiles of the most specialized. For it is no secret that anyone who comes here has no more than 5 years of experience.

Accounting, recording of information and financial reporting: appropriate data and information is produced, maintained and disseminated for the purposes of decision-making, management and reporting.

In financial boards, government departments, crown corporations, local governments, lack of timely data on revenue forecasts, liquidity levels and expenditure flows can only reduce the capacity of the government To determine and control the budgetary aggregates, the effective and strategic allocation of resources and ultimately to negatively affect the planning and management of services. This explains the non – production of the settlement law or of the document showing the implementation of the budget for the previous financial year. This flaw can easily affect the state of our relations with partners both in the bilateral and multilateral framework, which always see them as acts of serious slippage and failure to respect budgetary discipline.

Monitoring and external verification: The provisions on public finance review and follow-up by the relevant officials are operational.

For the Department’s most experienced professionals, it is a matter of taking all steps to ensure that the effectiveness of the review by the legislature and all external audit entities is an element in holding the government accountable Its fiscal policy, its expenditure policy and its implementation. This means that parliamentary scrutiny, through regular questioning sessions and parliamentary committees of inquiry, must be increased and the measures or sanctions proposed and taken rigorously applied. In this noble mission, parliamentarians must be supported by the institutions of external or a posteriori control, namely the General Inspectorate of State, the General Inspection of Finance and the Court of Auditors whose duties consist in ensuring the good Implementation of the budget, the fight against corruption and respect for the rules of good governance and transparency. Unfortunately, lack of good morality skills at the head and in these institutions and their politicization have eventually made these instruments of external control sounding chests, safe havens for men and women at the end of their careers and dragging Behind them, old casseroles, and parallel recovery structures, following the example of the General Inspectorate of Finance (Case of detention of receipt books instead of accountants and affairs of assignment, by a work order, d A tax officer at the airport instead of an accountant, yet appointed by a decree).

Finally, the current political security situation recommends that we dwell somewhat on the context of insecurity in the country, in particular the renewed hostilities in Kaga – Bandoro, Ndomété, Bambari, Kouango, Koui, and so on. These permanent tensions, which are constantly manifested in the occupations of the majority of our prefectures, killings, looting and unprecedented violence, the responsibility of which belongs to armed groups under the Selka, are not such as to assist the Government To recover efficiently and effectively all the own resources necessary for the implementation of its policy and the national development strategy. This is an opportunity to urge the Government and the international community, first and foremost, to take all necessary measures to redeploy civil and military administration throughout the country. Territory, and to proceed as soon as possible with the launching of the DDRR project and, secondly, with all armed bands that continue to raise barriers, racketee the population, levy taxes and levy customs To have a patriotic sense and to seize this opportunity to create conditions favorable to investments in the construction of roads, schools, health centers and boreholes. Drinking water in the areas they occupy.

Jean-Paul Naïba

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