SHARJAH 21 April 2017: H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, issued a law on the financial regulations of the government of Sharjah.
The Law No. (4) of 2017 aims to:
- Determine the general framework for enhancing the efficiency of financial resource management, including the preparation, adoption, implementation and management of the general budget.
- Prepare and report financial and operational data on all financial transactions of the government.
- Manage and use the available financial and material resources efficiently, economically and effectively, according to the indicators of rationalisation and control of government spending.
- Determine the powers, responsibilities and controls required to manage financial resources, assets and government properties in accordance with clear and transparent procedures.
- Establish the best financial and accounting procedures to be followed by government agencies for the purpose of organising and standardising the accounting and financial methods and submitting a report about it, according to a unified financial statement.
- Setting the general framework for rules and standards of governance and transparency integrated management of the financial system of government in accordance with the best practices and global practices.
- Work on the development of financial performance management as an integrated government system and improve the efficiency of the financial system in achieving positive rates of economic and social development in the emirate and work on financial risk management.
- Integral integration between the framework and indicators of the government’s fiscal policy and mechanisms for allocating available financial resources through the government’s medium-term expenditure to achieve positive results for the community.
On the scope of application, the provisions of this law shall apply to all government agencies, regardless of their independent financial and administrative systems, and government companies that finance their operations and capital from the general budget, said Wam.
The provisions of this law shall not apply to independent entities operating on a commercial basis and certain provisions specified in this law shall apply.
The Executive Council may exclude any of the governmental entities referred to from all or some of the provisions of this law.
According to the law, all government agencies are obliged to:
- Prepare the draft annual budgets in accordance with the rules issued by the Central Department of Finance.
- Use the approved credits in their budgets in accordance with the legislations prescribed and according to the purposes assigned to them.
- Link government spending to performance indicators related to its activities and business.
- The development and diversification of revenues within the framework of the legislation that it regulates.
- Use the Government Resource Management System, GRMS, and its related techniques, the Single Accounts Manual, the Single Treasury Account, and the application of the accounting rules, and procedures determined by the department to ensure efficiency in the management of government financial resources.
- Submit data, information, financial reports, and documents requested by the Central Finance Department during the fiscal year.
- Preparation of financial statements at the end of the year in accordance with the accounting methods adopted by the Central Department of Finance.
- Prepare a guide to delegate financial and administrative powers in accordance with the provisions of the applicable legislation.
- Manage the fixed assets that it owns efficiently and effectively in accordance with the policy of managing the government assets determined by the Executive Regulations and the Policies Guide for Government Assets and Property.
- Prepare the subjects of financial impact and deliver it to the department to study and offer an opinion before the presentation to the council, including any matters related to the development of technical systems and their impact on the system of government resources management.
The Central Finance Department is committed to preparing the general budget for the next fiscal year after it has been studied and discussed with government entities and companies, and to submit it to the Executive Council no later than the end of December each year.
The budget is based on a law including the objectives, essence of the government’s fiscal policy and performance indicators related to the achievement of the development goals, including rationalisation and control of expenditure and the development of government revenues.
The law requires the public budget in the government in preparing and implementing the following principles: 1. Include all estimated revenues collected and all estimated expenditures expected to be spent in all government agencies during the fiscal year, including the attached budgets or independent budgets issued by law or any other legislation relating to government bodies that have a financial system of their own.
2. Implementation of the performance budget by linking the balance of government agencies with a set of strategic objectives and financial indicators in the preparation, study, analysis and implementation.
3. Commitment to the annual budget principle, with the details on which it was prepared.
4. No transfer of the surplus in the budget to the next year.
5. The budget appropriations should be used for the purposes assigned to them, and no disbursement may be made without the provision of financial support.
6. Non-use of savings in the provisions of a budget line does not necessarily mean that it is used for purposes other than those for which the provisions are included.
7. Allocate estimated government revenues for the fiscal year to cover all estimated public expenditures for the same fiscal year in accordance with the objectives and priorities of the government.
8. It is not permissible to carry out financial transfers from the allocations issued by a special decision of the Executive Council.
9. Adhering to the criteria for controlling and rationalising the government expenditure specified in the executive regulations to achieve efficiency in the use of financial resources.
During the first half of each financial year, the head of the Central Finance Department shall issue a circular to all government agencies and independent entities concerning the preparation of the draft general budget for the next fiscal year, specifying the methodology, mechanism, instructions and procedures to be observed and complied with in the preparation of the annual budget proposals.
The government agencies and independent entities shall abide by the deadlines set by the department in submitting their annual budget proposals.
In case of any delay in submitting their proposals on time, the Central Finance Department shall study and prepare its budget in accordance with the approved rules and foundations specified by the executive regulations of this law.
All government agencies shall prepare their new capital projects budget and determine their financing needs for ongoing projects during the next fiscal year in accordance with the rules determined by the department annually.
Government support is granted annually from His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah or the Executive Council.
In case of non-ratification of the general budget before the start of the fiscal year, the department shall take action of expenses from the General Budget in accordance with the rules, and to issue the necessary instructions for that.
In accordance with the law, independent entities are obliged to:
- Present their operational and capital budgets in accordance with the general budget policy determined by the Department on the dates to be implemented annually.
- To submit the consolidated financial statements approved by the external auditor for the financial year ended and not later than before the end of the first half of the following fiscal year.
- To submit quarterly financial performance reports to the department and on the dates specified by the department with any additional data or reports requested by the department.
- Linking the electronic financial system with the government resource management system in the department in order to activate the process of managing the financial data and reports of the government.
This law shall come into force from the date of its issuance. The concerned parties shall implement it in their fields. Any provision contrary to its provisions shall be repealed and published in the Official Gazette, said Wam.
By Rajive Singh