Kapoeta East Financial Management Systems Improving

By Rosemary Chacha and Geofrey Otim

Before LOGOSEED started doing capacity building in the counties two years ago, financial management systems were not well organised and reporting was not done regularly. According to the acting Executive Director, Richard Mele Moses, the training county officers have received has changed this situation. He confidently asserts that:

“Our financial systems are in place, quarterly reports are done and books of accounts are put in place, receipts filed. Formally when we started budgeting we had problems collecting information but in the last two years with LOGOSEED, we experienced a good way of doing things – most of the budgets are on time except to this year due to lack of budget ceilings.”

LOGOSEED, as the Local Governance and Service Delivery Project is better known implements small infrastructure projects in and through selected counties in South Sudan. In order to enhance their capacities in implementing the projects, the Institutional Strengthening component of the Project undertakes training in planning, budgeting and financial management.

In addition to classroom training, the officers undergo extensive on the job training. Through the hand holding, the officers learn practically through the planning and budgeting as well as reporting processes. So far, four training workshops have been held in planning and budgeting and thirty-two officers have received both classroom and on-the-job training.

According to the county officers who participated in the Budget Cycle Workshop, the process of budgeting has become more participatory. The Acting Head of the Agriculture, Joseph R. Duku expressed satisfaction with the openness.

Heads of departments are fully engaged in participatory budgeting; the Planner cannot budget alone (any more). Problems were experienced before, due to lack of consultation. Heads of department participation gives us the way to know what is happening in those departments. Before the heads of departments did not know their budget; now there is more openness.

The acting Executive Director adds that participation gives the department heads more control: Due to this move to participatory planning, the department heads now create and know their budget and are therefore able to control them. Their main limitations in implementation are inflation and lack of availability of funds.

The County Commissioner Hon. Jafar Lowara Mosing on his part says that the planning and budgeting workshop was the first of the kind he had attended and therefore found it useful. The budget workshop increased awareness on types of taxes and suggestions on how to use local revenue.

The Procurement and Engineering National Trainer making a point during the tender evaluation training

The county officers are finding the training they are receiving from the Project useful but are requesting for refresher as well as further training. These they feel would eventually enable them to carry out the tasks on their own without the technical trainers in the future.

Rosemary Chacha is the Communications Officer and Geoffrey Otim is the State-Based PBFM trainer – Local Governance and Service Deliver Project (LGSDP/LOGOSEED)

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