• DBM optimistic tracking system to help boost govt spending

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    The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is optimistic the government agency-wide problems in procurement will soon be addressed by newly released guidelines for better monitoring of expenditures under each agency.

    In a statement issued on Wednesday, the DBM announced that it has released the guidelines for the creation of full-time delivery units (FDUs), a measure meant to ensure proper implementation of priority programs or projects that need close monitoring to help boost public spending and speed up project execution.

    In accordance with Administrative Order (AO) 46, all agencies and departments are directed to facilitate prompt implementation of their programs and projects via the FDUs, it said.

    These FDUs will help agencies meet their respective timelines and targets for each project, as well as improve their capacity to fully utilize their budgets.

    According to DBM’s Circular Letter 2015-8, agency FDUs will act as “problem solvers” by coming up with delivery and execution strategies to help clear bottlenecks or delays in program/project implementation. They are also supposed to review performance measurements and identify potential risks for each program or project

    Each FDU will also have a DBM counterpart to work closely with. The DBM counterpart will identify organizational and operational efficiency issues that contribute to underspending, as well as recommend measures that would address these.

    DBM FDUs are also tasked to identify the departments or agencies that require close monitoring. Both DBM and agency units are supposed to meet at least once a month to address bottlenecks resulting in lower-than-expected spending in departments and agencies.

    “The FDUs can help us address agency-wide problems in procurement, budget planning, and project implementation, which were notable root causes in last year’s underspending. In the process, these units can also assist us in keeping better track of expenditures under each agency,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said in the statement.

    Fast-tracking Yolanda rehab
    Abad also mentioned that the FDUs have been ordered to fast-track post-Yolanda rehabilitation and address whatever implementation issues they may encounter.

    As of May 31, 2015, the national government has released P84.7 billion to address the damage caused by Typhoon Yolanda, according to a DBM report.

    Besides the Yolanda Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan, FDUs will also handle other programs and projects that are integral to the key priorities of the national government such as social services, infrastructure, and agriculture.

    At the department level, the FDU head—designated by the department to act as the point person—will be at the level of the Undersecretary. A full-time Secretariat in each FDU will also assist each unit in terms of management and administrative support, it noted.

    “In both our Yolanda efforts and our other priority programs, the Aquino Administration through the DBM has made great strides in ensuring adequate funding support. We’ll have to continue working on speeding up government spending, however. The faster agencies spend their budgets, the faster that public goods and services can be delivered to the people,” Abad said.

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