Social Accountability System Monitoring
The following 6 tools are specifically for monitoring the Social Accountability System:
The legislation which determines the approach to strategic planning in Zambia is:
Specific questions to ask when evaluating the strategic plan are:
Evidence of Needs Analysis
- Does the strategic plan list the most pressing socio-economic needs of those the Ministry/Council serves?
- Are these needs prioritised in the strategic goals and strategic objectives of the plan?
- Is there a coherent relationship between the identified needs and the planned activities?
- Is there a coherent relationship between strategic goals, strategic objectives and planned activities?
- Does the Ministry/Council provide an account of its internal organisational environment?
- Is it clear how this influenced the strategic plan under review
- If the Ministry/Council experiences human resource capacity constraints, does the plan include a details recruitment and retention strategy/
- Does the plan include a programme of action to address Office of the Auditor General findings/queries
- Does the Ministry/Council provide an account of its external service delivery environment and, in particular, constraints caused by this environment?
- Is it clear how this influenced the strategic plan under review?
- Does the plan summarise the longer-term strategic objectives of each programme and main sub-programme, evaluate progress made in achieving these objectives and indicate what needs to be undertaken to meet these objectives
- Does the Ministry/Council clearly indicate what is being done to improve service delivery?
- Is there evidence in the strategic plan that the Ministry/Council consulted with both internal and external role players when drafting its plan?
- Does the plan details mechanisms to ensure coordination with other Ministries/Councils
- Does the Ministries/Councils detail budgeting for and transfers to other Ministries/Council, public and other entities?
- Are the performance indicators for measurable objectives measurable and affordable/feasible?
- Are activities specific, time-bound and costed?
- Does the plan clearly indicate which officials are responsible for each strategic objective?
- Do allocated figures in the strategic plan and in the budget align?
- Does the plan include an account of the Ministry/Council MTEF revenue and expenditure?
- Does the plan properly reconcile its performance targets with its available budget?
- Does the plan detail how the Ministry/Council intends using any additional allocations and/or donor funds?
Strategic Goal: All children of school-going age have access to education
Strategic Objective: To declare poorest 20% of schools no fee schools
- Identification of all schools eligible for no fee status according to poverty index by June 2004
- Complete database of no fee schools available on Ministry of Education website by September 2004
Indicator for MO 1: Percentage of schools evaluated according to poverty index
- Baseline 2003: 65%
- Target 2004: 100% (1st Quarter: 80%; 2nd Quarter: 100%)
- Appoint ten school evaluators to fill vacant posts
- Train evaluators on poverty index matrix evaluation
- Evaluate remaining 1,063 schools
And the resource allocation system is based on the following legislation:
PSAM present three main ways of classifying budget information:
- Function or Policy Area classification – categorises government activities according to objectives or purpose. Answers the question: What is the money for?
- Administrative classification – identifies the entity that is responsible for funds allocated. Answers the question: Who will administer/spend the money?
- Economic classification – identifies the type of expenditure incurred. Answers the question: What will the money be spent on?
Note that budgets can be classified by functional categories: Defence; Education; Health; Agriculture. It is helpful for budget analyst if they can link policy priorities with line items – track trends in prioritisation, allocation and expenditure. However a policy priority may fall legitimately under more than one function/policy area e.g. school nutrition policy.
Specific things to look out for when evaluating the resource allocation are:
- How much does the Ministry/Council plan to spend on the service delivery concern?
- Under which classification does this apply?
For this process, the Green paper is the first document that will be released outlining proposed spending. Civil society can review this paper and provide feedback on it. Then the Yellow Book is later released with more detailed figures and it then becomes the most important resource to analyse– it is an activity based budget (an advanced form of budget management). It provides detailed administrative, economic and functional budget classification.
Linking Financial and Non-Financial Data (what do the figures mean?)
- From the evidence, is the service delivery issue you are researching a priority according to the government budget information? What evidence is there of this in the budget?
- How much did the Ministry/Council allocate to this policy priority?
What percentage of its total spending does the Ministry/Council plan to spend on the service delivery concern?
- Calculation: Budget Allocation x 100
- Total Budget
Adjusting for inflation
Nominal value of the year you want to change X Base Year
Inflation index for year you want to change Inflation Index
Sources of data for this exercise are: the IMF website’s section on data and statistics that looks at the World Economic Outlook. You will need to focus in on country level data, and specifically select Zambia and the data range for the data you wish to use.
Calculating percentage change over time
Percentage increase calculation:
(Present value – Past value) x 100
(Later year- Earlier year) x 100
Required percentage increase (to meet service delivery objective):
(Desired value – Past/Present value) x 100
The documents will have been developed in line with the following legislation:
Specific activities to undertaken when evaluating the resource expenditure reports are:
Evaluation of expenditure against plans
- Did the Ministry/Council use available resource for their intended purposes?
- Did the Ministry/Council incur any unauthorised expenditure?
- Did the Ministry/Council incur any wasteful expenditure?
Evaluating Financial Reports
Evaluation against reporting regulations and best practices
- Are the Ministry/Council reports consistent with legislated reporting guidelines?
- Did the Ministry/Council follow financial reporting best practices when drafting its financial report?
Measurement of expenditure against original and amended allocations
- Did the Ministry/Council spend its budget allocation overall and for each main division within the budget?
- What were the amendments made to the original allocations via an approved supplementary budget?
- Did the Ministry/Council spend its amended allocation overall and for each main division within the budget?
Evaluation of explanations and justifications provided for expenditure
- Where the Ministry/Council spending differed from the original/amended allocation, did it provide adequate explanations and justifications?
Have a look at
Evaluation of compliance with financial controls
- Did the Ministry/Council implement proper financial controls over its spending of public funds?
- Did the Ministry/Council incur any irregular expenditure?
Have a look at the Auditor General’s report and the Public Accounts Committee Report to answer these questions.
Evaluation of reporting on Adjustments
- Did the Ministry/Council receive any additional funds during the financial year?
- Did the Ministry/Council surrender any funds during the financial year?
- Did the Ministry/Council explain how changes to its original budget impact(ed) its ability to implement its strategic plan?
The Performance Management system relates to the following legislation:
To analyse performance management PSAM proposes that you explore the following areass:
Implementation of strategic plan
- Did the Ministry/Council report against all relevant activities and objectives set out in its strategic plan for the year under review?
- Did the Ministry/Council achieve all relevant performance targets in relation to these activities and objectives?
- Where the Ministry/Council failed to meet planned service delivery activities or objectives, did it provide justifications and explanations for this and indicate what corrective action would be taken?
To answer these questions you will want to look at the strategic plan and compare it with the annual report for that year.
Internal Controls evaluation
- Is there any reported evidence of significant internal control weaknesses in the Ministry/Council in the year under review?
- What impact did identified internal control weaknesses have on service delivery?
- What impact did identified internal control weaknesses have on the Ministry/Council’s expenditure and performance management processes?
To answer these questions you can look, for example, at the Annual report; Treasury Minutes, the Auditor General report.
Evaluation of Audit Committee’s oversight
- Did the Audit Committee operate at full capacity?
- Did the Audit Committee meet as often as required?
- Did the Audit Committee fulfil its reporting mandate?
- What were the implications of the Audit Committee’s performance during the year under review for the Ministry/Council’s performance management process?
To answer these questions, the Annual Report and the Auditor General reports will be useful.
Human Resource Management
Recruitment and Retention
- What was the Ministry/Council’s vacancy rate for the year under review?
- What was the annual staff turnover rate for the Ministry/Council in the year under review?
- Did the Ministry/Council report on its recruitment and retention strategy (targets achieved)?
The annual report will provide insights into this area.
Staff Training and Skills Development
- What was the Ministry/Council’s expenditure on training for the financial year under review?
- Did the Ministry/Council achieve the training and skills development targets set out in its strategic plan?
To answer these questions, the Annual Report and the Auditor General reports will be useful.
- Did the Ministry/Council produce in-year and year-end performance reports for the year under review?
- Did the reports meet all relevant reporting requirements according to relevant legislation?
To answer these questions, use the Annual Report; Treasury Minutes, and the Auditor General Report.
Implications of performance reporting for performance management service delivery and accountability
- What were the key service delivery challenges faced by the Ministry/Council during the year under review and plans to address these?
- How does the Ministry/Council’s performance reporting impact its ability to implement an effective performance management process?
- How does the Ministry/Council’s performance reporting impact its ability to deliver quality public services?
- What impact did the Ministry/Council’s poor reporting have on the ability of internal (Internal Audit Teams, Audit Committees) and external oversight bodies (Auditor General, PAC, Portfolio Committees) to effectively monitor its performance?
The Auditor General report will enable you to answer these questions.
Evaluation of Ministry/Council Monitoring of Service Delivery
- Is the administrative unit responsible for monitoring services adequately staffed?
- Did the Ministry/Council implement effective mechanisms to monitor the delivery of services throughout the year under review?
- Did the Ministry/Council in its year-end report on the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of the services delivered during the year under review?
- Did oversight body reports make any findings/ recommendations regarding the monitoring of service delivery by the Ministry/Council?
- Did the Ministry/Council justify and explain any failures to monitor service delivery and indicate how it would improve the monitoring of service delivery in future years?
Evaluating performance management, service delivery and accountability implications of monitoring service delivery
- How does the Ministry/Council’s monitoring of service delivery impact its ability to deliver quality public services which progressively realise people’s human rights and capabilities?
- How does the Ministry/Council’s monitoring of service delivery impact its ability to implement an effective performance management process?
- What impact does poor monitoring of service delivery have on the ability of internal and external oversight bodies to effectively monitor the Ministry/Council’s performance?
The Annual Report should enable you to answer these questions.
The Performance Integrity Management system relates to the following legislation:
As a first step towards being able to evaluate Public Integrity Management in Zambia it is useful to first review the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct, and the Code of Ethics Schedule.
Understand and Apply Legislative framework
After interrogating the legislative framework governing public integrity, to what extent has the Ministry/Council not complied with this?
Assessing corrective action
- After identifying the public integrity management problems, to what extent has non-compliance to public integrity been addressed via corrective actions?
To assess this, look at the reports and briefings of the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Investigator General and the Treasury Minutes.
Capacity of Ministry/Council
- Are the units/departments responsible for managing disciplinary processes adequately capacitated?
- What is the impact of this on public integrity management?
- Is there sufficient detail provided on disciplinary matters?
- Does the disciplinary information provide justifications and explanations?
Register of Interests
- To what extent have public officials registered their interests?
- Are there weaknesses in public integrity management where interests have/have not been registered?
The Oversight system relates to the following legislation:
Specific activities to undertaken when evaluating the oversight system are:
Understand and apply legislative framework
- From which legislation does the specific oversight body derive its mandate and power?
- To what extent has the oversight body carried out its mandate and exercised its powers over planning and resource allocation, expenditure management, performance management and public integrity management processes?
To answer these questions you will need to look at the Constitution, Public Accounts Committee Reports, reports of the oversight body and the Auditor General’s report.
Assess Ministry/Council responsiveness to Portfolio Committee/ Auditor General findings and recommendations
- Is there evidence that the Committee has engaged the Ministry/Council over issues relating to planning and resource allocation/expenditure management/performance management/public integrity management?
- Has the Committee ensured that its recommendations are responded to and/or implemented?