Wednesday, 26 April 2017
 
No Vote Of Confidence In Malawi’s Health Budget Process Execution Image sourced at msf.org.za

No Vote Of Confidence In Malawi’s Health Budget Process Execution

Written by  Written by Blessings KANG'OMBE Apr 18, 2017

There are fears that a lack of transparency and accountability in health budget execution process will continue to affect health service delivery in Malawi's central region district of Ntcheu.

This comes as an assessment report by Mama Ye has found loopholes in the health budget processes.

Mama Ye conducted The assessment in February on Health Budget Transparency and Accountability initiative spearheaded by its partner Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN).

Areas of focus were budget consultation, supportive governance structures and budget information dissemination.

In budget consultation, the report was sought to find out if health sector budget preparation is widely consultative in financial year under review.

While on supportive governance structures, the assessment was to find out whether district council governance structures ensure adherence to transparency and accountability for the health budget.

Finally on budget information dissemination the focus was if budget information is available and communicated to the public.

On findings, the assessment report revealed that despite some indicators performing fairly, some had low performance hence need for urgent action.

For instance, on budget consultation it was discovered that most Non Governmental Organisations (NGO's) did not come forward during district budget preparation hence the district plans not including their support in the overall district budget.

Furthermore, the report reveals that at present, the district does not have an internal auditor who is supposed to actively do regular reviews of samples of expenditure.

Speaking to Capital FM, MHEN Executive Director expressed hope that the findings are a wake-up call to the district thereby helping the district improve on its short falls.

George Jobe stressed that this will act as a monitoring tool whereby the district will now strategies on how best to work to the advantage of the health sector.

Jobe added that with the absence of the internal auditor, there was need for relevant authorities to act swiftly in deploying the said services.

Representatives from National Local Government Finance Committee conceded of the challenges stating Ntcheu is not the only district where the Internal Auditor’s desk is vacant.

Planning and Economics Services Analyst at the institution Yohane Nyanja stated that plans are in the pipe line that central government will recruit internal auditors to fill the vacuum.

In the meantime, on its recommendations the report has asked the district to follow procedures and submit budget to central government which has been discussed and passed by full council.

However, the report also proposed that the district health office should call a meeting with all NGO's working in the health sector in the district to declare their budgets and work plans and then have a memorandum of understanding among other recommendations.

MHEN conducted the assessment in the district with an aim to strengthen how district stakeholders can ensure local money is well spent to improve health service delivery in the district hence promote transparent practices in budget process execution.

Last modified on Wednesday, 19 April 2017 14:20

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