Category: Budget Policy and reform directorate
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Introduction

Budget Integration and Reform Unit has been established in 1386 with the aim to implement Government program budget reform. After four years of developing policies, guidelines and processes, piloting reform implementation and building capacity of pilot line ministries in program budgeting, the reform has been successfully rolled out to all budgetary units, for the implementation of 1390 budget.

Hence, as of 1390 program budget has become an official format for budget prepared by Government of Afghanistan. However, since program budget presents much more sophisticated approach to budget formulation and execution, piloting of the program budget has revealed a number of general PFM areas where basic capacity in the line ministries is missing.

Consequently, in 1390 the role of the Budget Reform Unit has been expanded to provide capacity building function, on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, Budget Department in the wide area of public finance management. This includes: (i) analysis of specific capacity development needs (within budget Department of the Ministry of Finance and among all central budgetary units), (ii) planning, designing and delivery of capacity development and (iii) monitoring and evaluation of capacity development activities internally and externally.

Budget Reform Unit Team:

The Budget Reform Unit Teamis led by Mr. Naveed Ahmad Niaz. He has over four years experience in Program Budgeting Reform. He has dedicated over two years at the Ministry of Finance (MOF). Before MOF, he was working with a reputed USAID contractor-Deloitte on program budgeting for two years. He has had the opportunity to work with various international program budgeting advisors with several years of experience.

The BRU staff consists of:

All staffhave years of program budgeting experience. The team has also recently received a certificate of appreciation for their efforts in implementing Program Budgeting reform across all the Line Ministries signed and acknowledged by the Minister of Finance and DG, Budget.

 

 Work done so far

Budget Reform Unit (BRU) has been critical to the success of implementing Program Budgeting across all the Line Ministries and Budgetary Units and is a major component of the Budget Policy and Reform Directorate. The BRU team has worked with dedication over the past five years to ensure that all Line Ministries have adopted Program Budgeting and are trained in it.  There have been more than thousands of Line Ministry staffs who have been trained on the concept of Program Budgeting in addition to how Budgets are prepared, analyzed and submitted. The team has focused on providing training on the budget preparation, execution and reporting and has ensured that they abide by the accuracy, compliance with procedures and consistency with chart of accounts classifications.  On the basis of changes in the policy, BRU team has worked hard to improve the procedures, develop lessons learned reports and recommendation, revise budget manuals and other applicable materials every year.  Key stakeholders have benefitted from BRU’s training. The stakeholders include but are not limited to: MoF staff; ANDS team; pilot ministries and donors; Auditor General and the National Assembly.

 

Strategy going forward:

BRU will still continue its support to the Budget Policy Unit during the budget preparation stage in addition to providing training to the line ministries and budgetary units on this critical task. Though the responsibility of program budgeting has now shifted to the sectors, continuous support will be provided by BRU on matters relating to program budgeting, and its implementation.  Last but not the least, adhoc support is provided to Budget Performance and Reporting Unit. 

In addition to the above activities, BRU’s focus and strategy will shift to providing a centralized public finance management capacity building function, on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, Budget Department. This includes: (i) analysis of specific capacity development needs of Line Ministries as, well as units within the Budget Department(ii) planning, designing and delivery of capacity development/training and (iii) monitoring and evaluation of capacity development activities both at the Line Ministry level as well as within the Budget Department.

BRU will also be responsible for translating any technical policies and guidelines into capacity development material that is easily understood by the Line Ministries. The Unit will continue to work closely with Budget Policy Unit, Budget Performance Evaluation Unit, Provincial Budget Unit and all other technical units and directorates within Budget Department to ensure all the specific policies and requirements are adequately translated into capacity building programs to be delivered to line ministries/agencies and can be easily understood and digested by the audience.

One of the major components of BRU’s action plan going forward will be the analysis of capacity development needs/ Training Needs in PFM areas within the Budget Department mandate. This includes trainings requirements on Costing, Financial Planning, Allotment, Program Budgeting, Performance Reporting etc. Based on the needs identified, training materials both generic and customized will be prepared and delivered.

BRU understands the importance of monitoring and evaluation of the trainings and creation of a capacity development (knowledge management) database for the PFM areas within the Budget Department mandate. The database will yield results that will assess the impact of the trainings that BRU has conducted.