Dimension 18.3. Timing, coverage and data requirements

Time period Coverage Data requirements/calculation Data sources
Last three completed fiscal year. BCG.
  • Date of budget approval by the legislature in each of the last three fiscal years.
  • MoF (budget department), corroborated by the legislature (budget/ finance commissions)

very senior political figure, e.g., prescribed in the constitution or public finance management legislation) is legally permitted to provide special dispensation (e.g., a special warrant) to allow execution of the draft budget to commence at the outset of the new financial year in the event of the legislature not having yet approved the draft budget, this does not constitute approval of the draft budget. Formal approval of the draft budget is usually performed through approval by the legislature of a draft bill (often known as the Appropriations Bill in Anglophone countries). The enactment of the bill allows the new budget to be financed through withdrawals of monies from the government’s central fund (commonly known as the Consolidated Fund in Anglophone countries). The public finance management legislation (and perhaps also the constitution) may contain a provision that only the legislature may approve withdrawals of public monies from the government’s central fund. Special dispensation provided by law for the president to approve continued funding of public services pending legislative approval of the draft budget is not the same thing as legislative approval and the dispensation will typically only allow continued funding at last year’s levels.

18.3:6. In some country systems, the legislature may have the right to propose amendments to the draft budget presented to it by the executive and the executive (or perhaps the president) may have a right to veto the amendment. The legislature may have the right to counter the veto. Whatever the case, vetoes only result in delayed approval and this will be reflected in the scoring for this dimension.

Dimension 18.4. Rules for budget adjustments by the executive


18.4:1. This dimension assesses arrangements made to consider in-year budget amendments that do not require legislative ex-ante approval. Such amendments constitute a common feature of annual budget processes. To avoid undermining the credibility of the original budget, any authorization of amendments by the executive must adhere to clearly defined rules. The rules may be part of annual budget legislation or part of ongoing legislative provisions such as an organic budget law or part of the powers defined in a constitution.

18.4:2. The PEFA report narrative for this dimension needs to provide an overview of legal and procedural rules that govern in-year amendments by the executive, and may comment on how clear the rules are. The report should also comment on whether the rules allow extensive administrative reallocations and expansion of total expenditure, or set strict limits on the extent and nature of amendments.

18.4:3. With regard to the clarity of rules for inyear adjustments, in order not to undermine the significance of the original budget, the authorization of amendments that can be done by the executive must be clearly defined and follow the rules which should indicate the scope and procedures for: (i) adjustments to budgetary units’ own budget ceilings that do not require prior MoF approval; (ii) adjustments that require prior MoF but not cabinet or legislative approval; (iii) adjustments that


PEFA Handbook Volume 1: The PEFA Assessment Process – Planning, Managing and Using PEFA