Questions & Answers: Taxes, Spending, Audits  Bottom

  • -->RMI General Fun…2004 to FY2009
    These tables and charts were originally prepared by the Cabinet-appointed Advisory Group on a Comprehensive Adjustment Program (CAP) in 2009 and have since been updated and expanded... This document is made available to the general public in line with the RMI Government’s efforts to further promote transparency and accountability and to encourage civic engagement.

    -->Performeter - RMI 2008 - A Financial Statement Analysis Using Indicators of the Financial Health and Success and a Status Report of Audit Findings, Timeliness and Exception Resolution (A.F.T.E.R.)


    "Promoting more information disclosure by the public service, rather than secrecy which may allow corruption to be hidden" - from Nitijela UN Workshop Outcomes Statement, Feb. 17, 2011
  • Thanks for posting this report...Although these reports show some numbers and graphs, it does not tell me the real story. I am more interested in reports that are results oriented; reports showing performance outcomes in meeting objectives and goals towards improving social and economic wellbeing of RMI citizens. I am asking this because i don't see any reports on Key Performance Indicators showing outcomes that link to every dollars presented in the tables and graphs.

    These reports are too general (AUDIT REPORT), I rather look into reports showing performance outcomes of every government Ministries and Agencies. In fact, it does not really answer the question on what and how government spend our tax dollars. I will ask again, what are the real outcomes of these TAX DOLLARS?

    Ilo Kautej wot

    "For every Actions, there is an Equal Re-Action"
  • I think Re-Action brings up a good point that is worth discussing. These reports only look at the revenue and expenditure trends over time and do not intend to analyze performance or outcomes. That's a different type of report.

    The type of report you are referring to is more like a performance audit, which looks at both the amount of money that is spent (and other inputs) and compares it to the outputs and ultimate outcomes and impacts. This is essentially what a performance audit provides.

    The Auditor General has the legal responsibility for conducting both financial audits and performance audits, but for various reasons (including funding and staff limitations) they have not done any performance audits (or maybe only one or two ever). This was a topic of discussion in the recent Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearing in Majuro. The PAC is responsible for making sure that public funds are spent effectively and that public monies bring real public benefits. It was encouraging to hear the new PAC Chairman Senator Fred Muller ask for more performance audits to be conducted. To do this, we will need to strengthen the capacity of the Auditor General's office. It's encouraging to see the PAC active again in the last couple of years, after so many years of total inactivity, especially since it is supposed to play a major role in ensuring performance and 'value for money' in the public sector.

    There are a number of reports that do provide some performance analysis, including the recent MDG reports (including the MDG database which includes very specific indicators of progress) and the annual RMI Economic Reviews. The FY2008 Economic Review looked specifically at how much RMI spends (per capita) on health and education and what the key health and education indicators suggest have been the outcomes on this spending.

    Re-Action is right that we need to start looking at more than just the input side and need focus more on outputs and outcomes.

    As a final point, the government's efforts to adopt performance-based budgeting since 2004 has been a good step forward. Many ministries and agencies now use this system and it might be useful to show these reports as well. EPPSO usually coordinates the performance-based budgeting work and has reports that can be posted.

    edited by: BenGraham, Aug 01, 2010 - 06:01 AM
  • Thank you Mr. Graham!

    It’s true that these Ministries and Agencies are using Performance-Based Budgeting system, but are they really using this valuable tool? I think the better question to ask ourselves as tax payers is how many of our government Ministries/Agencies know how to stretch a dollar to get the most out of it? Performance Audit will require additional funding; what we need is a new budgeting system in our government. It is time to do away from the traditional line item budget and move into performance based management/budgeting system now commonly known as the results oriented budgeting system.

    To cut cost and improve performance outcomes and impacts, the government must step in and adopt performance based management/budgeting system requiring all government entities to submit detail budgets with goals and objectives and annual/progress reports on these goals and objectives. I am sorry to say this but there are a lot of people in our government who are getting paid for doing nothing. This budgeting system can link salaries and operating activities to employees’ performance evaluation.

    It’s a must that the government passes a law requiring all government agencies/ministries to submit their annual budget/reports addressing the 4 elements of the 21st budgeting system (i.e. inputs---outputs---outcomes---and impacts) showing promising sustainability and improvement towards economic and social Key Performance Indicators KPI.

    My grave concern will always be on how and what the government make decision on how much to give to each ministry or agency and where to cut from and why? Our government needs to explore the business thinking model in making these critical decisions because we don’t have MONEY. Our government should reward performance in order for our country to excel in the 21st century. The tax payers should demand the government to perform better, stretch the dollars and stop asking the tax payers for more money. The people have so little why asking them for more when there is nothing left to buy food to put on the table.

    In fact, the tax payers should be rewarded with a tax breakd or something...

    edited by: Re-Action, Aug 02, 2010 - 06:27 AM

    "For every Actions, there is an Equal Re-Action"
  • Re-Action you point out some good ideas on how we can improve performance in the public sector. There are a few other key things that can be done to improve performance, outcomes and overall development in the RMI.

    I think some ministries and agencies are trying their best to make progress, but overall the system and the country can do much better. We should do much better.

    We have enough resources, enough smart people, enough partnerships, and enough good ideas to make significant improvements in this country.

    If we can somehow connect and align all of these things under a clear and credible plan, a plan that we dedicate ourselves to fully implementing, then we should be able to make some progress.

    Other countries with similar constraints and challenges have made economic and social progress. We can, too.

    On your last point about giving people a tax break, the recently proposed (and Cabinet accepted) tax reforms include changes in income taxes that favor lower income earners. In 2008 the government also exempted import duties on basic food items to help people cope with higher imported food prices. These little "breaks" will help, but the best way that we can benefit the people is to ensure that we provide the best quality education, health and other basic services that our budget can buy. That, more than any tax breaks, will do more to help more people pull themselves up the development ladder.

    edited by: BenGraham, Aug 02, 2010 - 07:42 AM
  • How do you get the Public Service Commission and the Chief Secretary to improve budgeting or work performance?
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