The Budget Monitoring and Accountability Unit (BMAU) was established in July 2008 to enhance monitoring efforts geared towards effective implementation of government programmes and projects. Budget monitoring is concerned with tracking implementation of selected government programs or projects observing how values of different indicators against stated goals and targets change over time.
BMAU is a government funded unit which focuses on ten areas: Health, Education and Sports, Water and Environment, Agriculture, Industry, Information and Communications Technology, Microfinance, Energy, Public Sector Management, and Roads and Transport.
Budget monitoring seeks to verify information in the quarterly performance reports and assess the link between and physical performance. Monitoring focuses on the sector indicators that are listed in the budget framework papers, categorized into short term, medium term and long term indicators as well as verifying the link between information provided in the quarterly performance reports; and financial and physical performance. This information is released in budget monitoring reports and policy briefs.
The Budget Directorate at the Ministry of Finance uses the information to engage with spending agencies on performance issues, and each sector is required to submit a written response explaining areas of under-performance.
BMAU reports are distributed to Members of Parliament; government officials; development partners and civil society organizations. The Unit also has a direct reporting line to the ministry’s senior management so that priority concerns can be flagged.
The work of BMAU complements other government agencies, such as the Auditor General, the Accountant General, Office of the Prime Minister and the Inspector General of Government.
The role of this Unit has since evolved to include undertaking research into specific issues around poor performance. The research is usually contracted by other government departments and agencies and serves as a basis for making policy recommendations. Some of the studies done so far include Non-compliance in public financial management; the state of primary schools; spending constraints in local governments; the adequacy and impact of financing the food security budget through the National Agricultural Advisory Services; and an evaluation of the rural financial services programme and the Uganda Cooperative Savings and Credit Union.
Budget Monitoring Reports are now produced twice every year. A semi-annual report to inform the Government’s semi-annual performance assessment, and the Annual Budget Monitoring Report which summarises key performance issues.