Zanzibar, Tanzania – Effective East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) members attended a capacity building workshop, organised in the framework of AWEPA’s EALA programme, and held in Zanzibar, Tanzania, from 18 to 22 September.
The five-day workshop covered the topics of Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and auditing processes, and presented an opportune moment for EALA members to harness an understanding of the technical workings of MTEF budgeting and procedures relating to the auditing processes.
The overall objectives of the workshop included:
The objective of the MTEF training was to enhance members’ understanding of the planning and budgeting processes, as well as the guiding policies in planning and linkages with the budgeting process in order to enable them familiarise themselves with the MTEF preparation and presentation format.
Under the audit function, the workshop aimed to enhance members’ capacity to carry out the post audit function, including monitoring of budget implementation in a manner similar to internal audit. Topics covered under this function included: the role of the Committee on Accounts and EALA in the Accountability process; the technical and political review of the Audit Commission Report; auditing standards and audit processes; and the role of stakeholders in accountability relationships.
Regarding knowledge and fluency in the Kiswahili language, the EALA members also undertook a capacity building course in Kiswahili to shore up their efforts in sensitising the citizens in the region. Kiswahili is the lingua franca of the East African Community (EAC), and is, according to EALA Speaker Rt. Hon. Daniel Fred Kidega, a key uniting factor for the region which therefore has a role to play in strengthening the integration process.
Speaking on the workshop as a whole, Rt. Hon. Kidega described the training as a means to enhance EALA’s oversight function.
The EAC adopted the MTEF in its budgeting process in 2011. It is an annual exercise rolling three year expenditure planning. It allocates resources based on the priorities and ensures that these allocations are consistent with the objectives of the organisation. MTEF also contains outcome criteria for the purpose of performance monitoring and Annual Budget planning.