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Monday, August 19, 2019, 09:13 (GMT+7)
Raising the quality of defence budget planning under the new mechanism of finance management

Planning the budget for the following year is a yearly, important task of the military finance sector. At present, sectors and units across the Military should focus their leadership and direction on planning the budget of 2020 under the new finance management mechanism feasibly in accordance with the task and the state budget.

In 2018, party committees and commands of offices and units within the Military and the Military Finance Sector grasped the Resolution 915-NQ/QUTW, dated August 25th 2018, by the Central Military Commission (CMC) and the Project on “renewing the mechanism of military finance management under the State Budget Law of 2015 in the period of 2018-2025 and beyond” together with the Decision 3500/QĐ-BQP, dated August 26th 2018, by the Ministry of National Defence (MND). Grounded on those documents, they concentrated on directing the planning of defence budget of 2019 with fundamental reforms in the subject of budget planning, budget allocation, procedure and method. As a result, the quality of budgeting has been raised as the important basis for operating the budget under the new mechanism of finance management.

Maj. Gen. Luu Sy Quy addressing the Conference on “renewing the mechanism of military finance management seriously, opportunely, effectively (photo: qdnd.vn)

However, in addition to the good results, there have been weaknesses in some units and sectors’ budget planning. Those units encounter problems and difficulties as this is the first year that military units conduct the planning and allocation of budget under the new mechanism. The coordination between finance offices and other specialized offices has yet to be close; some sectors’ quality of budget appraisal has yet to be good. Several sectors and units’ budget planning has yet to be closely relevant to their tasks. Particularly, some units have paid insufficient regard to leading and directing the budget planning and shown the sign of dependence on their finance offices. Those weaknesses mentioned above should be strictly rectified and overcome opportunely.

The year 2020 will play a deciding role in fulfilling the targets set by the Resolutions of the 12th National Party Congress, the 10th Military Party Congress, and the all-level party congresses as well as in preparing the targets for the period of 2021-2025. The tasks of national defence consolidation, military build-up, and Homeland defence have new developments; the demand for finance rises while the budget is limited. The new military finance management mechanism under the State Budget Law and many new policies and regulations will directly impact on all sectors and their demands for budget spending and management. Against that backdrop, sectors and units within the Military should exercise their leadership and direction comprehensively and adopt specialized measures to improve the quality of the budget planning in 2020 as the basis for better performing the military finance and budget work.

To ensure the quality of budget planning and meet the requirements, first of all, party committees and commands of sectors and units should strengthen their leadership and direction over this important work and promote the core role of their finance offices in counselling and performing this work. As the new finance management mechanism starts being adopted and the system of norms for the planning and allocation of budget has yet to be completed, there will be a lot of difficulties and problems. Thus, sectors and units should enhance their leadership and direction and strictly execute the regulations on party committees’ leadership over the finance work, while taking measures to inspect the planning and allocation of budget closely. Grounded on the Circular on planning, observing, and finalizing the budget within the Military and the Dispatch 4747/BQP-TC, dated May 9th, by the MND, party committees and commands of sectors and units should clearly identify their tasks in 2020, particularly their changes and arising issues as the basis for their finance offices to balance and draw up the budget. Under the regulations, the commanders (also account holders) must take responsibility before their party committees and senior-level commanders for their own sectors and units’ budget planning. Finance offices are in charge of allocating their units’ budget and take responsibility before party committees and commands for the quality of units’ budget planning and the projects for allocating the budget to the affiliated units. Under the new finance management mechanism, the work of budget planning and allocation now has many changes in the subject of budget planning and allocation as well as in the procedures for this work. Thus, sectors and units should grasp the Circular 38/2019/TT-BTC, dated June 28th 2019, by the Ministry of Finance on giving instructions on the planning of state budget in 2020, the 3-year plan (2020-2023), the MND’s Directive 92/CT-BQP, dated June 26th 2019, on “the plan for national defence support and the planning of state budget for the national defence task in 2020”, the Project on “renewing the military finance management mechanism under the State Budget Law of 2015 in the period of 2018-2025 and beyond”, and other guiding documents by the MND’s Department of Finance (DoF). Units should promote the core role of their finance offices in counselling, coordinating, and performing this work.

It is predicted that the increase in the defence budget of 2020 will be modest; the defence budget rises mainly due to the policies which were issued in 2019 and will be implemented in 2020. Thus, when planning the budget, sectors and units should be fully aware of common difficulties, actively balance their financial demand and the budget capacity, plan the budget in a focalized and highly feasible manner to meet the task requirements, and enhance the effectiveness of budget management and use. Under the MND’s directives and the DoF’s guiding documents, sectors and units should carefully review the assigned task within the year, closely assess the budget planning in 2019, and grasp the relevant elements as the basis for the planning and allocation of budget of 2020. Grounded on the planning and allocation of budget of 2019, sectors and units should adhere to their assigned tasks, closely follow higher echelons’ procedures and instructions, maintain the balance among the groups of tasks, and proactively anticipate contingency tasks and changes, such as units’ strength and market prices. In the process, it is necessary to grasp and strictly implement the State Budget Law, the Public Investment Law, the Anti-Corruption Law, and the MND’s directives on financial and budgetary openness and transparency; to practise thrift and combat corruption, negative practices, and waste right in the planning of budget.

Sectors and units should take their tasks and forms of operation into consideration to plan their budget properly. Under the new finance management mechanism, specialized sectors only do the budget planning at their level; a small number of sectors plan and allocate a highly specialized small amount of budget to the units assigned to the task, and they are responsible for appraising the affiliated line offices’ budgeting and reporting the results of appraisal to the finance office at the same level. Sectors and units’ budget planning must be clearly presented and explained with the increase and decrease in their tasks as well as the report on their revenues and expenses. More specifically, budget planning must include regular expenses, investment expenses, local expenses for the defence-military work, and expenses from the revenues which units are allowed to keep under the regulations. Budget planning must also include all policies which have been issued and will be issued in 2020 as well as all assigned tasks. To achieve a consensus on the budgeting work, sectors and units should fix their strength and the prices at the end of second quarter off 2019; the prices of defence products were approved in 2019. Sectors and units’ expenses must not be higher than those reported by the finance offices.

In 2020, the CMC and the MND will focus the budget on major tasks. Priority will be given to performing the tasks of combat readiness, training, exercise, and sea and island sovereignty protection, implementing the Politburo’s decisions and resolutions on the Military’s organizational structure towards 2021 and the provision of materiel for the Military towards 2025, carrying out the education and training work, developing defence industry, and improving troops’ life. Units should proactively balance and adjust their expenses to perform the task in a comprehensive but focalized fashion; pay due attention to reducing the budget for the mobilized values, overstocked products, and programs completed in 2019; minimize the concentrated acquisition of products to provide for troops and units; promote the concentrated acquisition under the signing of framework agreements. As for the budget planning of capital construction, units must closely review the approved projects to balance their budget, resolutely avoid allocating budget to the projects which have not approved yet or those which have not completed the procedures under the regulations yet, and prevent widespread investment. Hospitals, clinics, guest houses, and military resorts with the financial autonomy plan their budget according to the peculiar instructions.

The sectors and units with revenues should attach greater importance to planning their revenues under the regulations. They should identify clearly state budget payment, MND budget payment, and budget that they are allowed to keep. In order to well plan the revenues, it is necessary to grasp the source, content, and regime of revenues. This is also an important measure to maintain the balance of budget. Therefore, sectors and units, particularly military-run enterprises should further enhance the effectiveness of production and business and increase the state budget payment. Notable, it is important to closely review and manage the revenues from the use of national defence land under the State’s law and the MND’s direction. Together with the budget planning, sectors and units should adhere to the guiding and directing documents on the 3-year Plan of finance and state budget (2020-2023) and report their plans to competent offices under the regulations.

Being in charge of the budget planning, the DoF and all-level finance offices should continue heightening their responsibility, actively directing and giving advice to units’ party committees and commands on the planning and allocation of budget to the specialized sectors at the same level and the affiliated units. Consideration should be given to reviewing and closely appraising sectors’ budget planning and particularly their expenses planning, resolutely reducing and cutting off the expenses which are not really necessary or exceed the targets. Due attention should be paid to closely combining the planning of budget and the allocation of budget, decentralizing the management of units’ budget, and promoting the allocation and controlling the payments via the State Treasury with a view to well implementing the new finance management mechanism and raising the quality of military finance work as the basis for the entire Military to fulfil all assigned tasks.

Maj. Gen. Luu Sy Quy, PhD, Director of the DoF, MND

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