Out of curiosity I recently ran into a publication by Sikika and Policy forum, titled unnecessary expenditure. This is a normal issue to a Tanzania government. Unnecessary expenditure focuses the way to spend money.
The idea is very simple; the government of poor people should also moderately spend money on what matters most.
In other words, the booklet aims at examining how much fund was being spent in provision of public services such as building and sustaining quality education and health services in contrast to unnecessary expenditures such as allowances, buying new vehicles and fuel.
It is rather expected that a nation with millions of people living under a dollar per day, should not be maintaining hundred of officers running four wheel vehicles worth millions of shillings and using them to travel hundreds of kilometer to surprise or evaluate stagnant programmes aiming at helping the poor citizen.
Under the sprit of transparency and living up to the promises the publisher of unnecessary expenditures examined how for the governments statements are actually reflected by the figures of the budget books.
Authors of unnecessary expenditures went on to analyzed whether the total amount of unnecessary budget items have been out, as promised. They also looked at separate information to identify how each government institution has contributed to the high level of unnecessary expenditures.
What they have found is just surprising to few but perhaps not many. “While training and travel expenditures have been reduced, allowances have rocketed by more than 57 percent. Spending on new vehicles and hospitality supplies have been fluctuating while fuel expenses, oil and lubricants are stagnant. Further analysis reveals that unnecessary spending various enormously among government institutions.
They therefore conclude that according to this analysis, the government commitment to stop unnecessary spending remains occasional and limited. Moreover, there is no evidence of consistent spending patterns among central and local government institutions.
They conclude with puzzling words “our analysis raises more questions than it answers because of the opaque budget formulation and expenditures process, the untimely sharing of budget documents with members of parliament, and the limited skills of MPS to see and question budget and expenditures.
There are few words to say after reading unnecessary expenditures. Let me try to make it simple, under the name of strategic thinking and implementation. If you spend billions of shillings constructing quality roads, you will not need to buy expensive four-heel drive cars, which consumes a lot of fuel. If you will buy a simple vehicle, which consumes moderate fuel and you will save money. Your people will also be happy, as they will also enjoy driving in the same. Allow me to add another simple example. If you invest in constructing good hospital and train and compensate your practitioners, you will get quality health services at home and you will not necessarily need to spend money to travel overseas for medical checkup or hope to be lifted (which is expensive) to another country for treatment when you suddenly fall sick, and all of your people will enjoy the quality health success as well.
Finally, if you spend more money in constructing schools and provide quality education your people will become innovative and work for the government and other institutions.
bright Sospeter – YET 2011