End of the year rush

The end of the year rush or shopping spree by government department always have been a feature in the annual audit report, be it internal audit or auditor general report. Some reports term it as Christmas Shopping. The media normally had a field day bashing the departments on their lack of planning or impunity in spending. On further scrutiny, we have to sympathise with the departments. I can tell you it is not due to dearth of planning. As early as October in the preceeding year every department would have started their work and expenses for the oncoming year. All detailed out to the ts.Then they have to submit to the finance department for approval. That is where the apparent inefficiency starts. More often than not the finance dept would slash and burn the proposal down to the bare bones.Must haves are given priority over nice to haves (well that depends on how strong are your justifications). So, come January you have to readjust your requirement and planning. And you are not getting the money as you want it yet. It come in batches in percentages or apportioned out throughout the year. They are cases when you have to postpone or cancel your plan because the money has not arrived. That creates a backlog. Your performance in spending the money is also measured and you must spend on average about 8.3% of the total amount every month. The amount disbursed would also dependent on the percentage of the spending. If your performance is low, you may not get what you are supposed to get. Come September or October, suddenly you are given a lot of money with little to time to spend. In order to to boost the percentage of spending, the tendency to spend on whatever available is very high. Or else you have a lot explaining and justifying to do to explain why your spending performance is not up to mark. In a way, your efficiency is not quite measured in terms of how spendthrift are you but on how you spend according to the required percentage. It is all about planning and efficiently managing the disbursement. If you are not spending as you should be or as you have planned, you are a terrible manager. You are not executing your plan well.It is as simple as that.

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