9 April 2014

Cameroon: 2014 Public Investment Budget - First Quarter Performance Under Review

A MINEPAT team has been deployed across the country to evaluate the path covered.

Projects earmarked for financing with FCFA 1,000 billion Public Investment Budget (PIB) for 2014 are under evaluation in all the regions of the country. An evaluation team from the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development (MINEPAT) is currently touring the regions to assess the path covered in the first quarter of the year. The field evaluation work began on Tuesday April 8 both at the central and decentralised levels.

According to a release from the department of economy and programming of public investments of MINEPAT, the team is among others assessing the process of execution of the 2014 PIB, follow up of the priority investment programme to meet the needs of grassroots population and facilitate the work of local steering committees of the investment budget.

The field control team is also assessing the process of award of contracts at central and decentralised levels which witnessed disparity last year. Statistics show that in 2013, 6,685 contracts were awarded amounting to FCFA 1,482,598,654,403. The regions received and treated 3,107 contract award files and signed 3,201 contracts to the tune of FCFA 62.698.6 billion. The award rate stood at 91.8 per cent representing 72.6 per cent of the budget previewed. Meanwhile, contracts patterning to the Central tenders board witnessed a 48.5 per cent award rate given that some 1,058 contract award files were awaited at the Ministry of Public Contracts but only 513 effectively came in.

The priority programme consisted in an early publication (January 6, 2014) of the 2014 Projects Logbook, joint launch of the budget by MINEPAT and the Ministry of Finance on January 9, the launch of contract award conferences on January 20 by the Ministry of Public Contracts as well as the holding of conferences to speed up the entire contract process. The optimal functioning of a computer-based programme "Programme Budget Management Information System (PROBMIS)," through which data is gathered from the grassroots to the central administration, is said to be part of efforts to ensure celerity in the execution of 2014 PIB.

The overall objective of the field team is to right the wrongs of the 2013 PIB whose performance was disturbingly below average and which prompted the Head of State's muscular outing during his end-of-year nation's address to question such a mediocre performance at a time government has negotiated an irreversible bend towards emergence.

The ongoing evaluation exercise is expected to span through 15 days.

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