The annual Budget is one of the most important and visible statements about a government’s financial intentions.
Once a Budget is released, it is important to monitor variations from the projections it contains. This is done for two reasons -
- first, to ensure that individual agencies are properly managing their budget allocations and that any genuine emerging need for additional funding is met.
- second, to ensure that any changes to the State’s overall financial position are understood and corrective action is undertaken.
This audit dealt primarily with the second of these objectives.
Budget monitoring involves both agencies and Treasury working together to quickly identify factors that might impact the budget, to clearly understand the implications for their budget position and to take any remedial action needed.
Poor monitoring may reduce the confidence that stakeholders have in the government’s financial management. It may mean that government decisions made in- year or for the following budget (for example on tax measures or spending increases/savings) are based on an incorrect understanding of the State’s true financial position.
I hope that this Report provides some useful insights that will assist in better monitoring.
Parliamentary reference - Report number #141 - released 28 July 2005