In an ordinance signed on 7 June 2021, the President of the Republic, Paul Biya increases the State budget for the year 2021 by CFAF 615.2 billion or 12.64%. This ordinance amends and supplements certain provisions of Law No. 2020/018 of 17 December 2020 to lay down the finance law of the Republic of Cameroon for the year 2021.
In this new ordinance, 11 provisions have been amended and supplemented while two new sections have been inserted. It appears from this act of the President of the Republic that the budget for the year 2021 in Cameroon is revised upwards by 615.2 billion CFA francs. In fact, in section 40 of the initial finance law, the State budget for the year 2021 was balanced in resources and uses at CFAF 4865.2 billion, of which CFAF 4670 billion for the general budget and CFAF 195.2 billion for the appropriation accounts. With the ordinance of 7 June, this budget increases to CFAF 5 480.4 billion (CFAF 5 235.2 billion for the general budget and CFAF 245.2 billion for the special accounts).
With regard to the special appropriation accounts, Chapter 4 on the appropriation of revenue in its new section 31 revalorizes this envelope. It is thus indicated that
“the ceiling of resources intended to supply the National Solidarity Fund for the fight against the Coronavirus and its economic and social impact is set at CFAF two hundred billion 200,000,000,000) for the year 2021”.
Ordinance 7 June 2021
In the initial finance law, the ceiling of resources intended to supply this fund during this financial year was CFAF 180 billion. The overall revenue thus increases from CFAF 3456.6 billion in the initial budget to 3530.8 billion in the amended law, an increase of 74.2 billion.
With regard to stamp duty rates, the stamp duty on national passports (issuance, renewal and extension) is set at CFAF 110 000 as from 1 July 2021. This stamp duty was set at CFAF 75,000 in the initial finance law.
This new ordinance comes after the one of 26 May last, which allows the State to raise funds on the international financial market.
On Tuesday 15 June 2021, the Yaounde Hilton Hotel opened its doors to participants in the third management dialogue of Programme 274 “State Budget Management”, for the 2021 budgetary year. On the agenda, the review of the activities of the Global Plan of Public Finance Management Reforms (PGRGFP) included in the Annual Work Plan (AWP) 2021, and the evaluation of the implementation level of the recommendations of the Head of this programme, resulting from previous management dialogues.
Under the leadership of the Director General of the Budget, Mr Cyrill EDOU ALO’O, who is also in charge of the said Programme, the session brought together all the stakeholders who work for its performance. The meeting was attended by all the action managers, the Management Controller accompanied by his network of referents, and the managers of the 274 programme up to the rank of Sub-Director.
After welcoming all the participants, the objectives of the management dialogue were the focus of the programme manager’s opening remarks. These were regular monitoring of the performance of Programme 274, for which the annual mission letters with the 2021 AWP were signed at the beginning of the year. In addition, the respect of the directives defined by the Minister of Finance for the year 2021 so that the activities included in the AWP are carried out properly, which is a guarantee of performance. Talking about the activities of the PGRGFP, he specified that their implementation concerned only those included in the AWP 2021 for Programme 274.
Implementation level of previous recommendations
At the beginning of this discussion, the Chairman of the meeting gave the floor to the Management Controller, Mr MBIDA Joachim, to read the draft validation of the agenda. After the validation of the latter by the audience, the floor was once again given to him for the presentation of the level of implementation of the recommendations from the previous management dialogues. The presentation of the said recommendations revealed certain grey areas in the implementation of certain actions, which led the DGB to call on the managers of the actions concerned to shed more light on them, giving rise to exchanges between the stakeholders.
Taking the floor to respond to a question, Mrs Goma Flore, Sub-Director of General Affairs, was asked to continue with the presentation of the Internal Control Implementation Plan within Programme 274.
Internal Control Implementation Plan within Programme 274
In this section, the plan for implementing internal control within the programme was submitted for validation. This plan, which has been validated and will be implemented until 2022, will consist, among other things, of drawing up the code of ethics and conduct for staff, drawing up a risk map, defining the function of “risk manager” and developing an internal reporting system.
Following Ms Goma, the Programme Manager once again gave the floor to the Management Controller to continue the presentation of the level of implementation of the recommendations, and to move on to the level of implementation of the Global Plan activities, which will also be interspersed with interactions between the participants.
Evaluation mission of the Global Plan on Public Finance Reform
The Director General of the Budget, in charge of the Programme 274, gave the floor to Mrs. Sophie BOUMSONG, Head of the Budget Reform Division to brief the last evaluation mission of the PGRFP for the three-year period 2019-2021. The Head of Division highlighted the following activities: the operationalization of the State’s budget nomenclature, development of budget accounting, implementation of internal budgetary control and implementation of the commitment plan.
Following this, the Head of Programme 274 took the floor to urge his staff to be more zealous in the accomplishment of their tasks, and to put in place a wider division of labour, in order to effectively and efficiently achieve the objectives that are incumbent on them. In the same vein, he insisted on the fact that the Heads of Action should permanently develop a participative managerial approach at the level of human resources with the aim of detecting talents but also of identifying the less capable staff in order to help them to upgrade. He also announced that a training centre would be set up in the near future within the programme 274.
Once all the items on the agenda had been covered, Mr Cyrill EDOU ALO’O, Director General of the Budget, in charge of the 274 programme, gave the floor once again to the Sub-Director of General Affairs for other matters. In this part, there was only one item on the agenda: ovations for some staff of the Programme 274, including Mr Cyrill EDOU ALO’O, Director General of the Budget. They were commended by the Minister of Finance on 12 June, receiving honorary distinctions and letters of recognition.
Following all this, the working session was closed by its chairman to the rhythm of applause, the result of a working meeting that certainly left no one unmoved.
From 16 to 18 June 2021, a workshop was held at the United Hotel in Mbankomo to develop tools for the operationalization of gender responsive budgeting (GRB).
The workshop was chaired by Mrs. MEKIA Félicité Linda, Head of the Budgetary Accounts Consolidation Unit, representing the Head of the Budget. Reform Division, Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family (MINPROFF), Ministry of Decentralization and Local Development (MINDDEVEL), Ministry of Health (MINSANTE), Ministry of Social Affairs (MINAS), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER), Ministry of Basic Education (MINEDUB), officials of the National Institute of Statistics (INS) as well as those of the Technical and Financial Partners (TFP), notably UN Women and GIZ.
In her introductory address, the Chairperson indicated that the Government is working to put in place institutional and standard reforms in order to guarantee the participation of all social categories in the work of national construction, in the life of the city and in the sharing of benefits resulting from the national effort. However, the work of building an egalitarian society between women and men still has many gaps. In order to address this, Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) can be a particularly effective tool to operationalize the institutional framework that has been put in place. In order to strengthen the functioning of the said framework, GRB has been initiated through presidential instructions urging pilot ministries to take gender into account in the preparation of the budget. In this sense, she added, GRB represents a guarantee for an equitable, relevant and efficient planning of resources by ensuring the sufficient allocation of these to policies and strategies aimed at reducing gender inequalities.
The work in Mbankomo, which was very interactive, therefore made it possible to:
It is important to recall that a mission by the International Monetary Fund’s Regional Technical Assistance Centre for Central Africa (AFRITAC Centre) on support for gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) took place in order to ensure the implementation of the institutional framework put in place on gender.
It noted that the standard base of GRB has not evolved over the last decades and its anchoring requires a more important scope and a solid legal basis following the example of international best practices. For GRB to be operational, the mission recommended the need to develop tools that are integrated throughout the budget cycle.
From 27 to 28 May 2021, a workshop on the Method of Payment (MDR) chain was held at the Djeuga Palace in Yaounde.
In effect, in order to strengthen the capacities of the actors of the said chain and to harmonize the technical process of authentication of documents in the MDR file, the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the General Delegation for National Security and the Ministry of Justice joined forces to discuss the related issues in order to find adequate solutions.
Under the coordination of Mr. SIMO KENGNE Robert, Director of Personnel and Pension Expenditure (DDPP), the subjects dealt with were essentially the mode of recovery of salaries paid into the accounts of the deceased and the related rehabilitation operations, as well as the processing of advance payment orders for heirs, the terms and conditions for issuing certificates of non-indebtedness, problems related to the voluntary retirement of civil servants and State employees working abroad, the failure to redeem debts in credit institutions, as well as identity theft and bank domiciliation; (the diversion and usurpation of identity for salary domiciliation).
The said seminar was held in view of the many shortcomings and anomalies noted by MINFI through the Directorate of Personnel Expenditure and Pensions in the elaboration of the mode of payment, notably the change of bank domiciliation, non-authenticated and non-approved certificates of non-indebtedness, uncontrolled allocation of inheritance advance orders leading to financial embezzlement, usurpation of titles and national identity cards by crooked individuals, embezzlement of public funds, failure to respect the deadline for submitting files to the sworn services of the Salaries Department of the Ministry of Finance
At the end of the discussions, measures were taken both at the level of MINFI and the Ministry of Justice. Thus, among the recommendations
MINFI must imperatively enforce circular N°00995/MINFI/DS of 27/04/1999 relating to the securing of salaries and pensions of the deceased in the coffers of the public Treasury and implement the provisions of circular N°0004962/MINFI/SG of 14/11/2013 relating to the issuance of certificates of non-indebtedness by credit institutions. In addition, update and digitize the ANTILOPE system, track down fugitive and fictitious agents in credit institutions, carry out a census of deceased persons in credit institutions and then publish the list of the latter on the DGB website. In addition, all bank rejections will henceforth be deposited at the DGTCFM at Room R22. In addition, when a branch code is set up in a credit institution, the agreement of the National Economic and Financial Committee (CNEF) will be required.
The Ministry of Justice should organize an explanatory seminar in conjunction with MINFI on the system of inheritance orders.
As for the DGSN, its monitoring and alert role for the security of goods and persons remains relevant.
Chaired by the Director of Personnel and Pensions (DDPP) in place of the Director General of the Budget, the ceremony for the presentation of the practical guide for the processing of salaries and pensions was held on 24 June 2021 at the Yaounde Hilton Hotel.
Present at the ceremony were the Director of Personnel and Pension Expenditure, Head of the Division of Budgetary Control, Audit and Expenditure Quality (DCOB), all the officials of the Department of Personnel and Pension Expenditure up to the rank of Service Head, officials in charge of salaries and pensions in the various public bodies as well as some former actors in the salary processing chain.
In his opening address, the DDPP mentioned some of the reasons that led the Minister of Finance to instruct the production of the “Practical Guide for the Processing of Salaries and Pension in Cameroon’s Public Administration”. Mainly, we can mention:
By providing better guide to users and pooling processing techniques, this guide will allow for effective and efficient processing of salary and pension files and will ensure better quality of public spending.
The guide, produced in English and French, is the result of the combined efforts of old and new salary actors. It describes the procedures and techniques for managing salaries and disputes, processing pensions, consolidating the pay file, providing IT support for salary management, drawing up summaries and various studies on salaries and pensions, as well as the historical facts likely to affect current and future processing. This description is made taking into account the current context of devolution of pay management.
During the ceremony, the guide was handed over to all the stakeholders in the salary processing chain as well as to the control and audit actors.
The practical guide for the processing of salaries and pensions in the Cameroonian public administration, also called “the salary bible”, has thus become a reference document for salaries and is now available to all to make good use of it.
The management dialogue is a forum for discussions, evaluation and projection set up within a programme in order to ensure the permanent monitoring of the state of achievement of its objectives and, where necessary, the development of corrective actions. Thus, in his introductory remarks, the Director General of the Budget made a point of recalling the purpose of this meeting which is not only to follow up on the roadmap assigned to Programme 274 “State Budgetary Management” by the Minister of Finance, but also to assess the implementation level of the recommendations of the previous management dialogue of 15 June 2021, concerning the same programme. During the meeting, the responsibilities of each actor were also recalled.
It should be recalled that Programme 274 is one of the four budgetary programmes of the Ministry of Finance, set up with a view to coordinating Government actions in the modernisation of the processes of preparation, execution and monitoring-evaluation of the Finance Laws. Its objective is “to ensure the adequate preparation of finance bills and the efficient execution of public budgets“.
It is structured in eight actions mobilising the interventions of four MINFI structures, namely the Directorate General of the Budget, Department of Standardisation of Stores Accounting (DNCM), Forecast Division (DP) and the National Centre for Computer Development (CENADI).
Thus, the Programme’s management controller, under the watchful eye of actions managers, presented the implementation level of the activities of the Annual Work Plan (AWP), except for the activities of the General Plan for the Reform of Public Finance Management (PGRGFP) whose scrutiny is scheduled for the next session.
The Head of Department of Personnel Expenditure and Pensions, in charge of action 3, gave a briefing on the Practical Guide to the Processing of Salaries and Pensions in Cameroon’s Public Administration. He indicated that this document could be used as a manual of procedures for the personnel working in the field of pay salaries pensions, as well as a guide for the users of the public service. Its distribution had begun in the ministries and should continue in the devolved services as well as with users. He also recalled the availability of irrevocable transfer certificates which are now available in the regions. The action manager specified that the communication aspect to inform users is taken care of by the Communication Division of the Ministry.
On the other hand, the assessment of the 2021 Budget Orientation Debate (DOB) presented by the Head of the Budget Preparation Division, Action 2, made it possible to note that beyond the success of the event, it is necessary to make some improvements in the future, in particular with regard to the timeframes for submitting documents to Members of Parliament, in order to allow everyone to appropriate them before the debates. In his opinion, it is also necessary to ensure that the recommendations made are taken into account in order to guarantee the usefulness of the BOD.
Action 4, led by the Control, Audit and Quality of Expenditure Division (DCOB), reported on the holding of the Budget Execution Conference, the first of its kind, while noting that the budget execution situation to date shows that only 25% of the budget has been executed; According to the Head of the Budget Reform Division (DREF), who moderated the conference, this should prompt us to strengthen the sector support that the Ministry of Finance provides to other ministries on a daily basis, through its representatives, financial controllers and public accountants.
Although adjustments have been made to some actions, the discussions from all this led the DGB to commend his staff and urge them to continue in the same vein. He also noted that in view of the general rate of actions carried out so far, thus 56%, “we can congratulate ourselves for being on the right track, but it is necessary to remain focused on the work plan in order to reach the 100% achievement rate by the end of the year“.
The recommendations made at the end of the meeting are of several kinds, namely the preparation of a presentation of the parliamentary platform in August, the mention of the DGB website address on the service stamp, the start of work on the Green Tome, the provision of the draft instruction relating to the setting up of the internal audit committee to action managers, The need for a new budgetary nomenclature to be drawn up and the need for the DGB to be involved in the implementation of this new nomenclature was also discussed.
The meeting ended on a celebratory note which highlighted another aspect of performance, excellence and development: sports. To this end, the DGB/Football trophy was solemnly presented to the Director General, who did not fail to commend the men’s football team of the Directorate General of Budget. Congratulations were also addressed to their technical and administrative staff, with a recommendation to the Sub-director of General Affairs to extend it to other sports disciplines involving women with a view to applying the gender approach.
Meeting on 29 July, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved three-year agreements under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) in favour of Cameroon, amounting to 483 million SDR or about CFAF 375 billion, over the period, equivalent to 175% of our quota, to support Cameroon’s economic and financial reform programme.
A first instalment of 45% of our quota, or about CFAF 96 billion will be released “to support our efforts to strengthen our external position and recover our public finances,” said Finance Minister, Louis Paul Motaze, in a statement.
“The implementation of this new programme will make it possible to initiate economic recovery from this year 2021 and to achieve strong, sustained and inclusive growth backed by adequate financing and a fiscal policy compatible with the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic,” MINFI said.
At the end of the IMF Board’s deliberations, Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director and Acting President, made the following statement:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated Cameroon’s development challenges and raised concerns about its growth prospects and its external and fiscal situation. In this context, financing under the ECF and EFF arrangements would support the authorities’ efforts to achieve rapid post-pandemic recovery, strengthen medium-term external and fiscal sustainability, and implement their structural reform agenda towards sustained, more inclusive and diversified growth. Effective and determined implementation of the authorities’ reforms, including further strengthening transparency, good governance and the anti-corruption framework, is essential to help catalyse additional donor financing.”
“The five pillars of the new programme aim to i) mitigate the health, economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring domestic and external sustainability; ii) strengthen good governance and improve transparency and anti-corruption ; (iii) speed up structural fiscal reforms to modernise tax and customs administrations, mobilise revenue, improve public financial management, increase investment efficiency and reduce fiscal risks associated with public enterprises; (iv) strengthen debt management and reduce debt vulnerabilities; and (v) implement structural reforms to accelerate private sector-led economic diversification and make the financial sector more resilient. “
“The authorities have appropriately adopted a revised budget, with a larger deficit to cope with the impact of the pandemic. They have reiterated their firm commitment to gradually return to fiscal consolidation to preserve debt sustainability once the pandemic subsides. The success of the Cameroonian programme will also depend on the implementation of accompanying policies and reforms by the CEMAC regional institutions.
The Practical Guide for the Processing of Salaries and Pensions is a pedagogical document that provides information on procedures and practices in the area of salary processing. It is designed to be made available to government departments, and more specifically to the actors in the salary chain. It is part of the improvement of the administrative procedures manual for the processing of salaries and pensions published in July 2009, which was aimed at the user. This manual, which is part of the implementation of the government’s policy in terms of celerity, reception, information, orientation of users and transparency in the processing of files, has highlighted the need to develop a guide geared towards the actors in charge of managing and processing salaries.
The aim of this guide is to be a reference point from which the staff in charge of processing salaries will draw inspiration in order to understand and process any type of file. It also makes it possible to record the history of salaries, which has undergone changes in both its structure and procedures. In short, its role is to codify procedures, unify and standardize pay practices in all ministries, while recalling the historical facts that may affect the current processing of files.
The guide was drawn up using a participatory approach, making it possible to establish this new tool as an essential reference point for all those involved in the salary chain, based on discussions between old and new actors.
Written in a clear style to make its content easier to understand, this guide provides salary officers with all the information they need to process all types of files with peace of mind. The availability of such a document is all the more important since, with the devolution of salaries, there is a multiplicity of actors eager to learn about public finance in ministries, without forgetting that the high rotation rate of staff assigned to pay in these ministries, increases the usefulness of a practical guide.
“I remain convinced that this reference document will provide the necessary elements to address the multiple concerns of actors in the pay chain and will improve the quality of spending,” concluded the Minister of Finance, Louis Paul Motaze.
The fourth session of the Monitoring Committee on Budgetary Support for the Third Debt Reduction and Development Contract (ABS 3rd C2D), for the three-year period 2020-2022, was held at the Yaounde Hilton Hotel on Friday 30 July 2021.
Chaired by Mr. EDOU ALO’O Cyrill, Director General of the Budget (DGB), who is also the Chairman of the said Committee, this session was attended by all its statutory members. These were the representative of the French Development Agency (AFD), the representative of the C2D STADE, representatives of the beneficiary administrations of the SBS, namely the Ministry of Basic Education (MINEDUB), the Ministry of Public Health (MINSANTE), the Business Upgrading Bureau (BMN), the Social Nets Project, the sector staff of the Budget Preparation Division (DPB), as well as the officials of the Ministry of Finance (MINFI) involved in the monitoring of the ABS of the 3rd C2D. Representatives from the Ministry of Public Service and Administrative Reform, Local Development, and the Economy, as well as the Technical Assistant recruited to monitor the ABS, were also present at this important meeting.
The session was marked by two highlights, namely the protocol phase and the examination of the technical and financial implementation reports of the ABS for the 2021 financial year.
The Director General of the Budget, in his address, welcomed the participants, and particularly Mrs. Gaëlle ANGOT, Head of the AFD Governance Project Team. He then recalled the overall context of the execution of the State budget which is marked by the restriction of activities and economic disruptions caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, the expected global recession of this pandemic and the uncertainties on the economic prospects due to the possibility of a new wave of infection. In addition to the impact of the health crisis on the technical and financial implementation of the SBS for the 2021 financial year, the instability observed in the South West and North West regions as well as in the North and East parts of the country should be noted.
Continuing his remarks, the DGB indicated that, in the C2D Contract, these ABS are aimed primarily at the social sectors and the recovery of the most fragile regions of Cameroon. They are in line with both sector objectives, as set out in the national strategies, and objectives in terms of strengthening public finance management and appropriation of the provisions of the revised Fiscal regime of the State. Finally, this support supplements C2D project aid. As such, and with a view to sustainability, they contribute to the gradual integration – within the State budget – of public policy measures previously supported through the “project” mode.
Before the start of the work phase itself, the DGB outlined the methodological approach which consists of each representative of the beneficiary government departments presenting their technical and financial execution reports for the 2021 financial year. These are MINEDUB, MINSANTE, BMN, PFS and MINFI.
At the end of the presentation of these technical and financial execution reports for the C2D 2021 ABS, it was found that the overall rate of consumption of ABS credits to date is low. This can be explained by the delay in the execution of certain contracts already programmed and the information feedback from devolved areas. At the end of these presentations, the main point discussed was the system for reporting budgetary and financial information to the devolved areas. To this end, the beneficiary government departments of the ABS were reminded to work together with MINDDEVEL, RLA and MINFI in order to formalise the information feedback mechanism within the context of monitoring the management of credits in the regions.
The Cameroonian Parliament has been convened in ordinary session to examine, among other things, the 2022 finance bill and its annexes. Among the documents to be examined is the 2020 settlement bill draft .
The settlement law draft is the law establishing the last executed finance law. As such, it :
adopts the results of the budgetary and general accounts for the financial year in question and gives discharge to the Government;
makes any changes to the appropriations that may be necessary, in particular by :
– ratifying the appropriations made by ordinance subsequent to the last Finance Act for that year;
– opening, for each programme concerned, the appropriations necessary to regularise the overruns noted on the estimated appropriations;
– cancelling appropriations that have not been used;
– increasing the amount of the authorised overdraft to the level of the overdraft recorded in an annexed budget or a trade account.