The National Government has concluded its consultation in preparation for the 2023 national budget.
Government Central Agencies – the Ministry of Planning and Development Coordination (MNPDC), the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT) and the Ministry of Public Service (MPS) conducted the consultation with all government ministries from the 15th to 20th September 2022.
The Budget Coordinating Committee (BCC) from the three government central agencies conducted the post-budget consultation following the launch of the 2023 Budget Strategy on Tuesday 13th September.
Permanent and Deputy Secretaries, Heads of Divisions, Financial Controllers, Human Resource Managers (HRMs) and Senior Government Officials from government ministries gathered over the four days to speak on issues of importance that will be reflected in the budget, and ensure the government deliver key priorities for 2023 fiscal year.
MoFT Budget Unit Director (Ag), Ms. Marcellina Iro highlighted that the 2023 budget guiding principles are; to support the economic recovery effort through transformational investment, invest to empower people and promote national unity as Solomon Islanders, streamline government operations by addressing cross-cutting needs through resource and cost sharing arrangements to effectively deliver government spending priorities, whilst maintaining fiscal discipline in the use of public resources.
These guiding principles aligned to the overarching policy direction of the government as highlighted at the launching of the Budget strategy for 2023. The consultation also covered the 2023 Pacific Games preparation
MNPDC Chief Planning Officer (Budget), Dan Lenny highlighted that government ministries and agencies will use the 2022 budget baseline as guide when preparing their budget submission for 2023.
Ministries are to consider SIG existing contracts and obligations and trade-off between existing programmes and projects to support the 2023 Pacific Games related activities.
Ministries are also urged to streamline submissions to key priority areas as highlighted during the 2023 Budget Strategy launch.
Principal HRMIS Officer, Wendilyna Wale of Ministry of Public Service highlighted that next year, the government will direct its resources towards the Pacific Games and the National General Election.
“MPS anticipates that, businesses of government ministries and agencies will be slow as government officers and resources will be deployed towards these two major events.”
She said the 2023 Payroll Budget will still focus on the Productive and Resources Sector, primarily as a means to ensure that activities are geared towards ensuring economic stability, while also supporting the human resource capacity of fundamental and social sectors to achieve the DCGA redirection policy priorities.
During the 2023 Budget Consultation, government line ministries were given time to raise their activities and pressures pertaining to the 2023 budget for consideration by the three government central agencies.
By 30 September 2022, budget bids from government ministries will be submitted to MoFT, MNPDC and MPS for appraisal and compilation before proceeding on to Budget Strategic Committee (BSC) and Cabinet for approval.
A draft budget is expected to be presented before Public Accounts Committee around late October or early November 2022, and budget papers are expected to be presented to Parliament around mid-November 2022.
It was also confirmed that other stakeholders will be consulted in coming weeks before the final budget proposal will be presented to the Government.
– MNPDC, MoFT, MPS Joint Press