Over-expenditure in govt worries Mejn

Post was last updated: January 26, 2016

The Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) has expressed displeasure towards some government department’s over-expenditures registered prior to the 2015/2016 mid-year budget review.

MEJN in a report titled ‘Highlights on Economic Reflections for Malawi in 2015’ said considering the economic struggle the country is currently undergoing which it said have prompted serious budget cuts and revisions to fit the stringent resource envelope, it was not accepted for the country to be registering continued over-expenditures.

MEJN says any budget overrun, involves unexpected costs incurred in excess of budgeted amounts, due to either an underestimation of the actual cost during budgeting or possibly due to some unwarranted spending outside the planned priorities.

“While this does not guarantee that the project will fail, it is important to note that it makes it even more difficult to succeed, in achieving expected results and outcomes, in line with the primary purpose and targets set,” read part of the report the economic watchdog gives an example of the notable departments and ministries which required supplementary resources due to their over-expenditures in the 2014/2015 budget such as the Malawi national examination board and the Malawi Police Service which spent 156 percent of its annual allocation half way into the financial year.

Mejn further says the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) spent 99 percent of its annual allocation, Maneb spent 95 percent, the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) the Accountant General’s office, the National Assembly and others also overspent.

Mejn has, therefore, outlined several recommendations to government to ensure that such does not occur again and that Malawians do not feel the pinch of the said over-expenditures in the current financial year.

The recommendations include implementation of proper results based planning, maintenance of public integrity management mechanisms, correction of ineffective use and abuse of public resources as well as designing of an effective preventive unit to limit the scope of conflicts of interest and corruption.

“The public service reforms need to fully get operationalised in 2016 and beyond, if they are to truly begin bearing tangible fruits,” concluded MEJN in the report.

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