Dimension 17.1 Budget calendar
DIMENSION MEASUREMENT GUIDANCE
17.1:1. This dimension assesses whether a fixed budget calendar exists and the extent to which it is adhered to. Budgetary units may, in practice, start work on the preparation of budget estimates much earlier than the start of the budget calendar, but it is important that they are given sufficient time to prepare their detailed budget proposals in compliance with the guidance, including budget expenditure ceilings, of the budget circular(s), if issued. Delays in the process and the passing of the budget may create uncertainty about approved expenditures and lead to delays in certain government activities, potentially including major contracts.
17.1:2. Assessors need to determine if there is a (recent) budget law (or budget regulations), which sets the basic principles of the budget process, including key actions and time frames and the budget calendar. In some countries the budget preparation calendar is issued annually as part of the initial circular. 17.1:3. ‘Generally and largely adhered to’ means that the majority of actions are taken within recommended time frames. While a delay of a couple of days from a given date may be acceptable, assessors need to identify whether at least the majority of the
parameters set in the budget calendar for the relevant year were respected. For an A score, budgetary units must be given at least six weeks to complete their detailed estimates; for a B score, four weeks. This is to ensure that the estimates have real value and are given priority. If budgetary units complete their detailed estimates with a delay of a couple of days but after the calendar’s deadline but have has at least 6 weeks to complete their estimate, score is A if other requirements are fulfilled (B for a 4 weeks completion time). In the context of this dimension, ‘generally and largely adhered to’ should not be treated as distinct. 17.1:4. A ‘clear annual budget calendar’ implies that the key parameters of the process and corresponding timing are set up without any doubts and are followed.
17.1:5. Where there is more than one budget circular (e.g., an initial circular calls for proposals for increases and/or decreases in expenditure in accordance with government policy), and a second calls for detailed estimates once proposed increases or decreases in expenditure have been considered by government and approved), the time allotted to the preparation of detailed budget estimates should be based on that afforded by all relevant circulars.
17.1:6. An A score is given for this dimension if all budgetary units are able to complete their detailed estimates on time.
Dimension 17.1. Scoring
|Score||Minimum requirements for scores|
|A||A clear annual budget calendar exists, is generally adhered to, and allows all budgetary units at least six weeks from receipt of the budget circular to meaningfully complete their detailed estimates on time|
|B||A clear annual budget calendar exists and is largely adhered to. The calendar allows budgetary units at least four weeks from receipt of the budget circular. Most budgetary units are able to complete their detailed estimates on time|
|C||An annual budget calendar exists and some budgetary units comply with it and meet the deadlines for completing estimates|
|C||Performance is less than required for a C score|
Pillar Four: Policy Based Fiscal Strategy and Budgeting