Role Of Budgeting In The Management Of Public Institutions
It is now a common knowledge that budgeting plays an invaluable role in our public institutions. However, the institutions have hardly used this administrative tool widely and as a result the desired transformation or change which budget would have effected in the society has not been achieved.
This shortcoming in using the budget to actualize organizational goals has compelled the researcher to study the role of budgeting in the management of public institutions, using ministry of works and housing, Enugu State, as a case study.
The researcher used both primary and secondary data sources. The primary data included the use of questionnaires, observation and interview. The researcher spent some time to mingle with the staff of ministry of works and Housing Enugu whereby certain observations on the study were taken note of. In the same vein, some of the staff were interviewed so that some questions that were not properly answered in the questionnaires were cleared through the use of interviews.
The Secondary source of data collection (Literature review) enabled the researcher to read as much materials that have been written on the subject matter as possible. It enabled the research to draw the theoretical frame works research questions etc.
The research design was essentially descriptive to ease the study. Data were presented, analyzed and interpreted using simple percentages.
The analysis and procedures was manual. From the data analyzed, findings were made which included notably that ministry of works and Housing Enugu carried out routine or yearly budgeting exercise which where not fully implemented. There have been frequent administrative changes in the ministry and that had affected budgeting adversely, that the public influence budgeting in the ministry and that budget implementation is not taken seriously by the ministry.
Based on the findings recommendations were accordingly made. They were that budgeting should not be a mere yearly ritual exercise devoid of seriousness and commitment, that administrators of the ministry should not be changed too often to avoid its adverse affects. Public influence on the budgeting should be encouraged and that the implementation of budgets should be given priority that budgeting principles ought to be observed by public institutions to enable the desired changes or transformation to take place.
1.1 Background And Need For The Study
Budget is a financial programme of action designed to guide the future operations of an organization. According to Henry 1980: 206 of the many various of systems theory that have been applied to problems of public administration budgetary concepts have had the longest and most pronounced impact on the field.
According to Wildavsky (1974:4) a budget is a series of goals with price tags attached” the budget represents a way of thinking about measuring and evaluating public policy (Henry Op Cit 208).
Budget has a great impact on the behaviours of public officers in Nigeria. Olewe (1995:392) state that every January in Nigeria civil/public servants show particular kinds of interest. Form the budget they can know what benefits they are to derive from the economy and how much tax they are to pat. Budget stipulates the exchange rate at which foreign currencies.
The taxation policy of the government may lead to narrowing down the class distinction and in equalities in the society. Public institutions are controlled through the expenditure is restricted to budgetary provision. Again, budget is used as guide. It serves as a measure of performance of the public institutions (Onubogu 1997: 10)
According to Omebogu (Ibid 12) the inherent values or benefits in budgeting has not been fully drawn by our country in that the nation is still socio-economically backward. For instance the battle against poverty has not actually started our rural communities are in deplorable shape the health situation has not improved our education policy has not given us any cause to cheer the standard of living of the average Nigeria is noting to write home about to mention but a few.
All these are sufficient indicators that our national budgets all over the years leave much to be desired.
In the words of Schick (1978:178) budgeting tends to grossly over estimates administrators capacity to calculate programme the effectiveness and vastly under estimates the importance of political and technological constraints.
This view has been shared by the researcher as one of the major problems of budgeting in the public institutions. It has been observed that most public official have been unable to make the calculation needed for substantial changes in the programmes of their respective department’s policies.
In the word of Obiekwe (1999:18) it has been observed that our nation’s national house of assembly senate do not have the analytical and staff capacities needed to properly analyze the president’s budgetary (supplementary) requires in order to develop worth while policy alternative within the context of the federal budget.
Agwaniru (1998:11) averred that the whole idea about budget in Nigeria has not been given proper fine tunning. Most of the public officers who prepare the budgets are not trained and as such they lack the potential to evolve realistic budgets for the nation and this has been a contributory factor to why our budgets for the past three decades have not been to offer a desired transformation the nation.
Changes in the economics environment after the budget has been prepared has been observed to lead to a change of policy midstream. The government budget seeks to achieve goals which are nebulous even contradictory at times. The changes can range form social to political and educational. It is also a legal document requiring negotiation in democratic setting and enactment into law by the legislature. All these peculiarities make changes in the budget very difficult( Nwoko 1999:49)
Some forms of budgeting system have not been able to serve as on adequate bases for informed decision making at each level of management and they have not helped management to control and appraise performance of various programmes projects activities and scheme. Again such forms or types have from the existing budget and account heads for what broad approaches and objectives resources are being allocated (Visvanathan 1972: 1-2)
The above problems which are obvious spurred the researcher into carrying out an investigation on the role of budgeting the management of public institutions with the federal ministry of works and Housing Enugu as case study
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
Budget has now been reduced to mere yearly ritual. Early in the year so much noise is made concerning the budget hopes of the people are raised for a better tomorrow but no sooner is the budget presented that nothing is heard again about the serious implementation of the budget. Yet another year, a similar thing happens — the ritual continues (Ogundele 1996:25).
According to Nwoko (OpCit:127-128) a huge sum of money has been spent outside budgetary allocations over the years.
Unproducton and highly inflationary programmes such as finding an unending political transition to democracy and fighting other people wars (in Liberia and sierra leone) and the central bank of Nigeria (CBN) has often been ordered to print money. The Nigerian national petroleum corporation’s earnings have been paid straight to the presidency which hands out subvention to the corporation. There has been a mismanagement of the extra- budget earning of over & 2bn for the Gulf –war of 1991.
Public officer have been using the yearly budgets to enrich themselves. In 1992 alone there was a budget deficit of N2. Obn while between January and April 1999 alone the national budgetary allocation for the year had been over spent by more that 35% (Ode 1996: 36)
The role of the public according to Onubogu (1999:15) contribute in No small measure to the problem in budgeting in public institution early in the year the public have always shown interest in the budget for the year. This has not been out of place but the maters is different when budget is sent to the national House/ senate for considerations and approval the public has been seen to stampede these bodies into been taking immediate action on the budget without recourse to a high degree of thoroughness as budgeting process demands.
1.3 Objective Of The Study
The research work has been designed to look into the role of budgeting in the management of public institutions in Nigeria and the federal ministry of works and housing as case study.
Other objectives of the study have been discussed as follows:
- It seeks to determine whether the ministry carries out budget in the organization.
- Again the research seeks to look into budgeting as a social tools of analyzing the performance of public institutions.
- Furthermore, it intends to ascertain how budgeting adds public administrations in achieving the goals of their organization.
- The research has to consider the extent of commitment by government in the budgeting process of public institutions.
- In addition it has to find out the difficulties encountered by public officers in budgeting and solution to the identified problem have to be proffered.
1.4 Theoretical Foundation Of The Study
The theoretical foundation of the study was based on planning programming and budgeting system (PPBS) this has bee a technique in budgeting. According to Ocheoha (1998:34) there is no know author who can rightly claim to have originated the PPBS, although the name of Robert Mc Mamara her been associated with it because he popularize the adoption of the PPBS in he united stated of America.
The PPBS Has The Following Feature
- Careful identification and evaluation of goals and objectives in each major area of government oriented towards greater specification of goals
- Systematic evaluation of post achievements in terms of objective that is programme outputs
- Measuring the extent to which current decision commit future resources that is total cost of the system or project.
- Analysis of alternative strategies to determine the most effective means of achieving results or objective and at the least cost
- Multi-years programme planning
- Creation and implementation of a decision system that integrates planning policy and programme decisions with budgeting.
A major innovative characteristic of PPBS is the multi-year planning cycle with requirement that all decision structures be linked together in a system
1.5 Research Questions
The following research questions have been drawn as a guide to the study:
- Does the ministry of works and housing Enugu prepare budgets for use by the ministry?
- Does frequent changes of administrators in the ministry affect the budgeting process?
- To what extent does the public influence the budgeting process?
- Is budget as an administrative instrument capable of transforming Enugu State?
- How does budget impact on the management of ministry of works and housing Enugu?
- Does the ministry implement her budgetary allocations in order to meet people’s aspirations?
1.6 Significance Of Study
The study has a lot of significance in that it represents a symbol of academic achievement as having contributed to the already record of research in social science in addition the study shall be useful to the colleagues of the researcher and the entire students in the field of management science as they shall resort to it their various research works on the same topic of study in future.
The research shall be relevant to public administration in general and budget experts in various ministries and departments as it shall assist them in carrying out their budgeting duties
The policy makers shall derive immense benefit from the study as it shall serve as a scientific guide to them.
1.7 Scope Of The Study
The study covers the ministry of works and housing Enugu. Members of staff of all cadres of the ministry participated. In the same way all units or sections of the ministry participated in the study. Descriptive analysis was applied in the study. The study is a survey research.
1.8 Limitation Of The Study
The researcher has encountered some difficulties in the course of the work. Some of them have been discussed below.
Against this background most of the ministry were afraid of disclosing some relevant information to the researcher.
The staff claimed that disclosing certain information to the researcher would be an offence. Again a few of the respondents were not willing to fill the questionnaire while a few of them even lost their own copies.
Time constraint was another factor.
The time allowed to carry out the research her been limited. For a more through job more time would have been allowed. The research had to attend lectures as well as attend other official duties as a civil servant.
There were also financial difficulties.
A lot of money was needed to pay for transportation fares to and from the ministry of works and housing Enugu pay for the photocopying of documents pay for the production of the questionnaire to mention but a few
1.9 Definition Of Terms / Acronyms
According to Bayo (1981:6) it is the efficient adaptation of government policies by experienced civil servants through paper utilization of management system and styles in administration of material and financial resources.
2. Budget Negotiation:
The process of arriving at mutual agreement on the provisions of a contract. The principle of negotiation applied in several contexts and situations. (Kennan and Wilson in Nwoko OPCit:5)
Planning programming budgeting system which is a technique used to analyze activities in strategic terms (Nwoko Op Cit:43)
Zero base budget which is a technique of evaluating from time to time the continued reference of on going programmes (Nwoko OpCit)
5. Public expenditure:
It is the action or practice or laying out public money presumably in pursuit of public goals.
It is the process by which public money is consumed
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