The Medium Term Expenditure Framework ( MTEF ) is believed to incorporate development precedences, budgeting processs, and execution outcomes into a dynamic, efficient, antiphonal, and consequences oriented procedure.
In this paper I will try to underscore some of the issues relevant to the Medium Term Expenditure Framework procedure. It will show ratings of the incorporation of a pre-budget exercising in national budgeting processes in different states. It will sketch a image which seeks to ground whether the benefits of such a pattern necessarily advantage the hapless in developing states.
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The methodological analysis I will utilize in order to deduce my decisions will be to sketch the pros and cons of the MTEF, analyze the effectivity of a pre-budget exercising, measure empirical plants of two World Bank authors- Philippe Le Houerou and Robert Taliercio ( whose research in the African part demonstrates similarities to other developing states that may draw a bead on to implement the MTEF ) . I will sketch my ain grounds for the proposals of pre-budget exercisings.
Outline of Paper
Overview of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework
Issues in MTEF execution
Learning from Experience-cases in the African provinces
Proposals and statements for the MTEF pre-budget rating
My Decisions and Remarks
Overview of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework ( MTEF )
Since there is a big positive relationship between economic growing, income distribution, and poorness, the rise in mean incomes depending on equality with regard to income distribution, is shown to be favourable for the hapless.[ 1 ]National authoritiess of developing states use a mix of financial and pecuniary policies to seek and accomplish these ends. But the disproportionate and mostly colored function of authoritiess in developing states have progressively led to a focal point on its financial powers such as revenue enhancement and outgo policies to redistribute income as a poorness relief tool.[ 2 ]Sector wise allotments, subsidies, public investings, and, entitlements, are given much importance as redistributive budget procedures. ( Khan, 2001 ) .
The importance of equity is widely addressed in most public outgo plans. Inequality is an intrinsic feature of developing states and unluckily what is of import and receives small attending in visible radiation of this issue are inefficiencies in the budget direction systems and procedures of developing state authoritiess in guaranting that their limited resources meet the demands of the mass. It is of import to understand that it is non merely the terminal allotment which is important, but the overall outgo processes which need to be practical, particularly in instances where there is scarceness of resources, weak capacities and many other institutional challenges that are built-in to developing states.
In order to relieve this job it is of import to reform conventional budget patterns by integrating a pre-budget rating which takes into consideration the handiness of resources, and fit it to expenditure planning in a active medium-term program of three or five old ages. The medium-term outgo model ( MTEF )[ 3 ]provides this construction by fiting the “ bottom-up ” costs of plans and policies with a “ top-down ” resource-ceiling ( Houerou & A ; Taliercio, 2002 ) . These may turn out largely effectual in developing states where unproductive decision-making procedures and deficiency of financial subject are built-in in the system. As a get downing point this may originate a sort of disciplined construction.
Harmonizing to the World Bank the failure to nexus policy, planning and budgeting is one of the most of import causees of hapless budgeting results in developing states. ( World Bank Expenditure Handbook, 1998 ) . The execution of a Medium Term Expenditure Framework ( MTEF ) is increasingly being accepted as a response to this job and has become the new cosmopolitan redress of public outgo direction and the new proposal for the remedy in insufficiencies of planning and budgeting systems and general public presentation jobs of authoritiess. ( World Bank Expenditure Handbook, 1998 ) .
The international assistance community supports the Medium Term Expenditure Frameworks, and both givers and loaners, ( illustration DFID, World Bank ) support MTEF as the logical method around which authoritiess should plan reforms of budget support. In Public Expenditure Reviews ( PERs ) conducted by the World Bank in Sub Saharan Africa every bit good as other parts, the demand for an equal medium term model is given maximal attending. ( OPM Review, 2000 ) . The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are immense advocators of the MTEF in footings of its efficiency and effectivity in budgetary reforms.
Adding the Medium Term Expenditure Framework ( MTEF ) improves the value for money of public disbursement and reinforces financial subject and considered prioritization, although placing the indispensable mechanisms that are required for an MTEF to successfully map is non easy. ( World Bank Expenditure Handbook, 1998 ) . Though they have gained popularity over recent old ages, there are few constituted medium term models. Out of those that exist in developing states some successfully sustain through the jobs while others fall through. But some lessons can be learnt from the average term budget models ( MTBFs ) in OECD states ( drawn from OPM Review, 2000 ) , every bit good as from the different experiences of the MTEFs implemented in Ghana, Malawi, South Africa and Uganda. However it is of import to observe that each state will react otherwise in regard to their alone national features, economic place and political/bureaucratic structure/culture. Some illations drawn are:
Implementing the MTEF in OECD states suggest that rigorous conditions have to be fulfilled before the full benefits of average term models can be realized ( IMF, 1999 ) . Such conditions are improbable to be fulfilled, or more significantly, may non even exist in most underdeveloped states. But even the basic credence of the rules of average term budgeting may better the practicality of sector budgets. This is an advantageous addition for developing states where big incompatibilities between stated policies and existent resources, leads to unplanned disbursement cut in budget execution. ( OPM Review 2000 ) .
The debut of average term model brings betterments in the predictability of organisational support. This has been achieved in South Africa, despite opposition from bureaus where support was reduced. By denominating protected sectors ( wellness, instruction, roads ) in Uganda, it has minimized uncertainness to take down concern countries. ( OPM Review, 2000 ) .
Improved predictability relies on cut downing the spread between estimations and existent grosss. This reduces the demand to cut outgos during the budget twelvemonth. ( OPM Review, 2000 ) .
Improvements in the costing of policies and plans require a Fuller information base and can non be delivered without the active engagement of sector ministries. Successful budget reforms depend on introducing and prolonging appropriate inducements for these ministries/line ministries to back up the alterations. ( OPM Review 2000 ) .
This paper will look at the issues in MTEF execution, peculiarly how such an outgo policy can be translated into an effectual instrument for poorness relief. These issues limit the successful acceptance and execution of a pre-budget rating. It will so put out a model for understanding the importance of an MTEF pre-budget rating which elaborates on the maps, capablenesss, and evidences for such a financial instrument. It will explicate why, in most underdeveloped states, there is a demand to reconstitute outgo planning in this manner in contrast to the traditional one-year budget rhythms. It will so pull from the experiences of states that have incorporated such procedures, and presents some empirical grounds that, in developing states, the forms of benefit from pre-budget rating increasingly favor the hapless.
Issues in execution
Though intangible strength of the medium-term outgo model is loosely acknowledged there are concerns about the issues involved in implementing it in the practical country. Weak institutional capacities and inefficient policy planning ( which are built-in in developing states ) hamper the operation of plans which aid the flow of benefits to the most deprived subdivisions in developing states. ( World Bank Expenditure Handbook, 1998 ) . For illustration in Africa the execution of MTEF reforms are hindered by factors such as weak foundations of budget and public outgo direction ; donor demands for comprehensive reforms which are incompatible with the state ‘s execution capacities ; institutional support to complement budget reforms are weak ; line ministries have small clip, information, and inducement to subject to reforms as outlined by the finance ministry ; and financial reforms are frequently focused merely on proficient issues and except political and institutional considerations. ( World Bank Expenditure Handbook, 1998 ) . By turn toing these issues it is possible to measure possibilities for budget reforms and understand why political involvements are non merely of import but besides a cardinal function participant for successful execution of the MTEF as a development and poorness relief tool.
The MTEF pre-budget rating successfully matches the demands of the developing states ‘ societies to handiness, which might ensue in more efficient allotment of resources ( as in most instances they lack a proper infrastructure/resources as nucleus allotment jobs to relieve inequality ) . Its executing can profit from fiting the aspirations of givers and authoritiess with the capacities of the budget and other institutional capablenesss of the state in inquiry. This keeps outlooks in cheque while placing countries that need betterment. ( Dorji, 2007 ) . It besides strengthens the thought that the MTEF entirely can non present efficient and effectual public outgo direction, but that “ it is merely a complement to and non a replacement for basic budget direction ” ( Houerou & A ; Taliercio, 2002 ) . It needs the support of other institutional mechanisms and is non a be-all, end-all scheme.
These are of import considerations in budgetary reforms, so that execution is introduced either horizontally by “ navigation ” , i.e. bit by bit widening its range across sectors from high-priorities such as wellness, instruction, and public assistance ( Houerou & A ; Taliercio 2002, p. 26 ) to low-priorities such as subsidies, tax-breaks, and luxury goods imports ; or, vertically by “ phasing ” across MTEF degrees – sum, sectoral, service bringing on a government-wide footing. ( Houerou & A ; Taliercio 2002, Medium Term Expenditure ) . Houerou and Taliercio ( 2002 ) stress that execution can besides be carried out utilizing both pilots and phase-ins by “ operating in a limited figure of sectors ( horizontally ) and degrees ( vertically ) . ” ( Houerou & A ; Taliercio 2002 ) . The determination to implement MTEF reforms as a pilot or phase-in attack based on the state ‘s capacities and basic public outgo direction conditions, is an of import footing for an effectual and efficient budget pattern that achieves concrete additions. This is imperative for the successful acceptance of financial reforms in developing states. ( Dorji, 2007 ) .
Even well-specified and productive financial procedures are non ever successfully adopted. Even if a reform procedure demonstrates the capacity to filtrate resources to allow redistributive precedences and debt-servicing programs, there is small political and bureaucratic will to back up these reforms, and hence do MTEF reforms uneffective and unforceful. Political and bureaucratic inducements of cardinal and sectoral ministries to take part in budget reform and execution demand to be addressed as they are cardinal function participants in existent, practical, long term inaugural undertakings. In developing states elected functionaries are likely to assure more than they can present during their pre-election runs. Developing a budget envelope may be unwanted to many politicians because it constricts their discretion. The MTEF seeks to in fiscal matters train and prioritise the state ‘s long-run development ends within its limited agencies. ( Dorji, 2007 ) . This process fails in many instances because it may take most politicians with short-run aims to blackball it. The bureaucratic inducements for both cardinal and sectoral ministries need to be specifically addressed if they are to lend indisputably to the procedure.[ 4 ]If the costs and benefits of MTEF reforms are non accurately estimated both non-priority and precedence sectors disregard the credibleness of the reform ‘s promised benefits. ( Dorji, 2007 ) .
There are preventative steps to political influences and bureaucratic non-cooperation, and one proposal is to fix the MTEF which includes extended advisory procedures. If consequences are viewed to be fruitful and legitimate, lawmaking organic structures and public force per unit area may deter political executives from ignoring[ 5 ]committednesss of the MTEF based on their ain prejudice. For bureaucratic bureaus, positive inducements such as flexibleness and liberty in finding their ain disbursement precedences within their resources will heighten their engagement.
Therefore, it is of import to pay attending to issues of sequencing and inducements in the execution of budget reforms. It is a cardinal measure towards making a wide consensus that financial tools such as the MTEF augment the effectivity of budget systems in efficient bringing of public goods and services to the hapless.
Learning from Experience
Philippe Houerou and Robert Taliercio ( 2002 ) analyzes the effects in the Africa part for the World Bank on financial reforms. Their survey includes nine states, among which two ( South Africa and Uganda ) have incorporated comprehensive MTEF reforms ; three states ( Kenya, Tanzania, and Ghana ) are in the intermediate phases ; and four of them ( Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda, and Guinea ) are in the basic phases of execution.[ 6 ]
Phub W. Dorji ( 2007 ) critically assesses this survey and provinces that there are some restrictions in that, the appraisal is limited by the deficiency of informations produced in these states.[ 7 ]Besides the quantitative analysis of MTEF reforms is restricted to merely three instances – South Africa, Uganda and Tanzania, who were included merely because of the handiness of informations. This gives a job of choice prejudice. Dorji ( 2007 ) besides emphasizes on the job that the qualitative analyses of the first five states are based purely on giver paperss such as World Bank memos and positions of country-economists. The advancement of reforms in these states is colored and uncomplete.[ 8 ]He besides says, the deficiency of informations agencies that merely a few result indexs ( macro-economic/fiscal balance, resource allotment, budgetary predictability ) is analyzed. ( evidenced in Houerou & A ; Taliercio. 2002, p.17 ) . The cogent evidence of efficiency in the usage of public financess after MTEF reforms/implementations, is non presented by the writers.
Despite these restrictions of import decisions can be drawn from the plants of Houerou and Taliercio to back up the theory that MTEF reforms are accelerators for heightening committednesss and disbursement on precedence sectors that require maximal attending in developing states. Resource allotment in Africa ( specially authorities outgo on precedences such as wellness, instruction, and public assistance in the pre-MTEF period as opposed to the post-MTEF period ) , serves as an illustration. ( Houerou & A ; Taliercio. 2002, p.17 )
One of the cardinal aims of MTEF reforms is financial subject. Dorji ( 2008 ) emphasizes that the system would modulate the activities of domestic disbursement bureaus and histrions, and state activities in the international spectrum. In Houerou and Taliercio ‘s 2002 survey, a state ‘s financial shortage is used as the alternate index for financial subject and the writers did non happen any empirical grounds to back up the premise that financial reforms are correlated with improved national financial subject. Uganda, South Africa, Ghana and Tanzania record little to no decreases in financial shortages over the period 1985-2000 ( when the MTEF was implemented ) .[ 9 ]The writers emphasize that their analysis does non take into history assorted causal factors ( e.g. macro-economic dazes, fluctuations in debt payment etc. ) , which Dorji ( 2007 ) argues, weaken the explanatory power of variables.
In footings of the financial behaviour of elective functionaries, this survey does happen some colored grounds that MTEFs lead to more answerability. For illustration in Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania, where MTEF strategizing is based on public hearings, civil society representation, and other advisory meeting procedures, it has led to budget appropriations based more on “ professional standard than on political computations ” ( Houerou & A ; Taliercio, 2002 ) . This positive consequence for answerability is a valuable support to financial reforms, Dorji ( 2007 ) concludes.
Houerou and Taliercio ‘s ( 2002 ) survey provides small grounds to back up the proposition that MTEF reforms lead to budget predictability. Houerou and Taliercio use the “ absolute difference between the sanctioned budget and executed budget expressed as a per centum of the sanctioned budget in any given twelvemonth to analyse this result. ” ( Houerou & A ; Taliercio, 2007 ) . In the instances of Uganda and Tanzania, there is no important relationship between financial reforms and budget predictability even for precedence sectors. ( Houerou & A ; Taliercio, 2007 ) There is a big spread between budget preparation and executing in these states. This is damaging to the credibleness of the reform because it may take the precedence sectors, to ignore and reject the benefits suggested by the MTEF. ( Dorji, 2007 ) . Since these consequences merely hold for a limited figure of old ages, it is hard to clearly tie in the consequences of MTEF reforms with its aims of macro-economic stableness, political answerability, budget predictability, and the overall effectivity of the MTEF procedure.
However, there are positive findings in footings of resource allotment where Houerou and Taliercio find that such budgetary reforms are associated with the reallocation of resources to authorities precedences. In the states which have instituted MTEF reforms, there is a positive inclination towards pro-poor committednesss and disbursement, as indicated by a comparing of the overall wellness, instruction, societal services, and public assistance outgos in Uganda and South Africa before and after reforms.[ 10 ]( Houerou & A ; Taliercio, 2002 ) .
The one-year alteration in sector wise disbursement in Uganda shows that MTEF reform consequences are most noticeable for pro-poor precedence sectors such as instruction and wellness. In instruction, there was an addition in one-year alteration from -0.06 % in 1994-1995 to 0.36 % in 1995-1996, 0.15 % in 1996-1997, and 0.23 % in 1997-1998. In the instruction sector, harmonizing to the survey, passing increased from 19.8 % of entire outgos in 1994-1995 to 26.9 % in 1997-1998. In the wellness sector, the allotments did increase, but remained inconsistent when annually results were compared.[ 11 ]This is besides true for outgo in other pro-poor plans such as societal services, agribusiness etc. ( Houerou & A ; Taliercio, 2002 ) .
South Africa has managed to tie in MTEF reforms with increased sectoral disbursement for precedences that benefit the hapless, better than Uganda. It shows that authorities disbursement is steadily reallocated from non-priority sectors to precedence sectors. Education receives the largest authorities committedness and disbursement. Other precedence sectors such as wellness, public assistance, and justness increased their portion of entire outgos from 1997 to 1998. ( Houerou & A ; Taliercio, 2007 ) . In footings of reallocation of resources, there are fringy lessenings in South Africa ‘s defence disbursement as a per centum of entire outgos every bit good as a per centum of entire MTEF outgos. ( Houerou & A ; Taliercio, 2007 ) . This would explicate the additions in disbursement for the precedence sectors.
The proposal of an MTEF Pre-budget rating as a poorness relief tool
When the outgo policies of authoritiess fail to present services or redistribute income to the hapless, it is of import to look into how the authorities spends its money.[ 12 ]The budget serves as a critical nexus to understanding if the insufficiencies arise from the mutual exclusiveness of plans because policy-makers and politicians promised more than they could present. In other words there is a mismatch between bottom-up demands and top-down resource handiness, and financess are misallocated between changing stages and demands of a plan ensuing from a deficiency of rational multi-year plan of policies and budgets.[ 13 ]
The medium-term outgo model complements the standard one-year budget procedure because it takes into history the policy and planning phases with the budgeting/allocation phases and provides a platform for equilibrating priority-driven outgo plans with scarce resources over a medium-term, of either three or five old ages.[ 14 ]
A typical budgeting pattern in most underdeveloped states is performed on an one-year footing. This is restrictive in itself as it implies that a program period such as macro-economic worlds, expected hereafter grosss, and the long-run demands of plans and authorities disbursement policies, are non exhaustively accounted for, across financial old ages. The MTEF is a turn overing pre-budget exercising because the first twelvemonth ‘s estimations become the foundation for the undermentioned twelvemonth ‘s budget, after accounting for economic alterations and policies. This allows a greater function of monitoring and smoother integrating of policies and budgets across financial old ages. If it is successful, it will ensue in beef uping the precedence sectors, therefore concentrating on the hapless of society, functioning as a poorness relief tool over the long term.
Another advantage of the MTEF pre-budget exercising may be that after a authorities has developed its medium-term growing scheme, it is possible for the several finance ministries to find its gross influxs over the following three/five old ages. Preliminary budget deductions can so be issued to the assorted disbursement bureaus. The reappraisal of the state ‘s fiscal place is so considered as a resource ceiling to the authorities and its bureaus as a foundation for equilibrating their sector disbursement. This reconciliation of disbursement within a manageable resource bound, so that grosss and costs even out, is an of import strength of this pre-budget exercising. It may ensue in supplying greater macro-economic balance, improved sectoral allotments, more budget predictability for bureaus, cut downing wastage of public money and more efficient use of public money.
It is frequently the instance that hapless states are characterized by weak institutional capacities and a deficiency of democracy. Sectors which should be keenly looked at in such hapless states such as wellness, instruction, and public assistance are frequently capable to inefficient and deficient resources. The national budget experiences increases in outgo in other sectors such as paysheet and contracts. This indicates corruptness which is so built-in in the construction of establishments in developing states. In the traditional budget system the prioritization and allotment of resources remains mostly, a political matter. The MTEF is a practical mechanism for conveying approximately financial subject and for protecting budgetary committednesss to the hapless in society from the issues of altering authoritiess and politicians.
The cost of institutional failings is besides obvious in the international committednesss of developing states. The demand for investing in capital undertakings to drive long-run growing, by and large lead most underdeveloped states to look towards funding from external multilateral and bilateral beginnings.[ 15 ]The restrictions of their financial programs, inquiry the efficiency with which these resources are directed to development attempts, and the borrowers ‘ credibleness in serving debts.[ 16 ]The MTEF serves as a pre-budget financial tool to separate and apportion scarce resources to strategic precedences without conflicting on the authorities and its bureaus ‘ disbursement precedences, and safeguard against compromising the state ‘s international recognition standing.
Some of the grounds why a pre-budget MTEF exercising is valuable as opposed to the traditional budget procedure in developing states are as follows:
It manages national resources and outgos and hence offprints strategic committednesss to poverty relief from the electoral concerns of weak political and bureaucratic establishments.
It controls for unsustainable adoption ; and holes marks on wide indexs of financial public presentation such as primary shortage, resource mobilisation, and entire investing outgo.
In practical footings, it besides puts national budget processes on a planned and sustainable way towards using public resources efficaciously and expeditiously in presenting services to the hapless in the long term.
Decision and Remarks
From the limited quantitative grounds from Houerou and Taliercio ‘s analysis of MTEF reforms in Africa, we can state that budgetary reforms are slightly correlated with some degrees of sectoral reallocation to exceed precedence sectors such as instruction, wellness, public assistance, and societal services. This does non intend that all authorities outgo is allocated to precedences, or that the suggestions of the MTEF are really used in pattern. There could be many tradeoffs which could be alone to single instances and state particular. For illustration, in the three states that have implemented the MTEF comprehensively, Uganda prioritizes and allocates to the instruction sector ; South Africa to wellness and its judicial system ; and Tanzania to societal services. Further research utilizing a wider sample of states over a longer span of clip will give more information on the significance of relationships between budget reforms and precedence sector disbursement, which would hold a more direct link/evidence of it functioning as a poorness relief tool.
With the limited information of the World Bank authors we can reason that the encouraging disbursement tendencies in the countries of wellness, instruction, public assistance, and societal services, which have by and large been positively correlated with economic growing and poorness relief in most developing states confirms that pre-budget exercisings such as the MTEF increasingly positively consequence expenditures on pro-poor plans, and in bend the hapless.
It is besides of import to supervise execution of recommendations one time presented to relevant governments for consideration. Consultations on a regular basis with MTEF secretariat and sector caputs can undertake this. It may besides be utile to concentrate on local resource allotment determinations and do certain that they match up with the national precedences set out in the MTEF. It can move as the comprehensive scheme adhering planetary understandings, national inter-sectoral budgeting and localized investings, which may be an easier end to carry through.
Gender inequality is an built-in feature of developing states, and it is of import to make gender-equalizing long term budget constructions so that public expenditures guarantee that every member of society receives equal benefits and are non discriminated against. It would be utile to apportion a section of this in the pre-budget exercisings. Such a scheme may function as a tool for national capacity constructing through skill-development of adult females, mainstream gender equity in development procedure and commiting gender equity in the authorities constructions in order to guarantee sustainability of undertaking consequences, all of which mark nucleuss of development schemes.
MTEFs should non simply be emulated by developing countries-they demand to be evaluated and applied harmonizing to state demands, political environment, sectoral strengths/weaknesses. If used and implemented maintaining its strengths, failings and restrictions in head, the MTEFs can be used as a long term development tool and a poorness relief mechanism. However it should be kept in head that the MTEF is merely one of the constituents of poorness relief. it is non a be-all and end-all scheme. Coincident and efficient mechanisms of other establishments is required for an over all long term consequence.