According to Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania each local government or council can raise funds for meeting costs of delivery of public goods and services including financing development projects and also should have and manage its own staff who should be accountable to it, and it should also have means of enforcing their decisions and resolutions as well as the relevant laws and bylaws. My organization Kinondoni Municipal Council is among the council within a United Republic of Tanzania.
My organization that is Kinondoni Municipal council have powers to levy and collect taxes, fees and charges. This is according to the Local Government Finances Act No. 9 of 1982 which requires the local government authorities in Tanzania Mainland to levy taxes and other types of revenues, which will be sufficient for meeting approved expenditure. This is a basic responsibility given to all the councils in Tanzania.
The Budget Cycle
Kinondoni Municipal Council is using participatory approach in budgeting process. The basis of participatory planning and budgeting is provided for in the National Constitution; in the Local Authority Acts No. 7 and 8 0f 1982; the Regional Administration Act of 1997; and the Regional Management and Planning Guide of 2000.
Preparation of the budget begins with the issuance of national planning and budget guidelines around December each year. The guidelines provide a review of the performance during the just ended financial year and serve to inform Ministries, Independent Departments, Executive Agencies, Regions and Local Government Authorities about the priorities of the Government as spelt out in the sector policies. The guidelines also include information to councils about levels of funding by way of grants for the ensuing year. The guidelines which are prepared by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the ministry responsible for economic planning and with close involvement of the ministry responsible for regional administration and local government, briefly recap the sector policies and point the area which should be accorded priority in the allocation of resources in the coming year. For the time being, the priority sectors are the pro-poor sectors of education, health, water, roads, agriculture and lands.
Kinondoni Municipal Council planning and budget cycle requires planning to start at the lowest level hierarchy passing the various stages before final approval. This means that the bottom-up planning approach is emphasized. By using this approach people’s priorities and felt needs are captured in the course of developing the council’s annual plan and budget, and that the approved plan and budget continue to reflect those priorities and needs as perceived by the people themselves.
Key Stages in Budget Formulation
First stage in Budget formulation is the issuance of the national budget guidelines normally around December each year. Apart from the information about levels of funding, my organization are provided with the timetable as to when to submit estimates of revenue and expenditure. The timetable serves to guide the organization in the process of developing its plans and budgets in a participatory manner and in following the procedures set out in the law and attendant regulations.
Thus, the people at the lower level get the chance of making use of the participatory planning techniques in identifying the problems, prioritizing them and looking for solutions to those problems so that by using resources within their means and with possible assistance from Central Government and other stakeholders, they can bring about their own development.
Connection Between Central Government and Kinondoni Municipal Council.
The plans of Mitaa’s are consolidated and coordinated by the Ward Development Committee. The Ward Development Committees prepare and submit to the Council the Ward plans which indicate the expected sources and levels of funding. These plans are integrated with the projects which are developed at council level and discussed by the respective sector standing committee of the council. The council executives prepare a draft council plan and budget and submit them to the respective Regional Secretariat whereby sector representatives scrutinize the draft plan and budget with the aim of establishing that sector policies as contained in the planning and budget guidelines have been adhered to. The Regional Secretariat provides written comments and advice on how the council plan and budget can be improved upon. The Council Director convenes a meeting of the council which is responsible for finance and planning whereupon the draft council plan and budget are tabled indicating how the comments and advice received from the Regional Secretariat have been dealt with.
Finally, the draft budget is submitted to the Full Council Meeting where it is discussed and passed at least a month before the beginning of the financial year. The council plans and budgets in the region are supposed to be consolidated into a regional plan and budget before submission to the ministry responsible for local government for further consolidation and later submitted to Ministry of Finance for inclusion in the Government Budget for Parliament approval.
Following changes that were made to the Local Government Finances Act No. 9 of 1982, the central and local government financial years are now harmonized; they now run from July to June. This means that the timing for the various stages in the preparation of the council plan and budget such that they are passed by end of May.
The technique of Participatory Approach is appropriate in facilitating budget processes since approaches has prepared through several policy paper including Opportunities and obstacles to development (O &OD) which is used as planning techniques to facilitate budgeting process in my Organization . The O &OD techniques allow the Council planning team with collaboration by Ward development committee to call for mitaa meeting and key stakeholders e.g. community based organization(CBOs) ,Non governmental Organization , religious institutions, the disadvantaged people to determine the issues of concern to them, prioritize the sequence of addressing them and identify the strategies, opportunities, constraints and action for the way forward.