Saro phase-out to start-A A +A
Friday, January 27, 2012
THE Department of Budget and Management will start phasing out special allotment release orders (Saros) and agency budget matrices (ABMs) in authorizing fund releases to government departments and agencies.
“Release documents like the Saro and ABM are supposed to aid in recordkeeping and budget transparency,” DBM Secretary Florencio Abad explained in Thursday’s factsheet. “We noted, however, that fulfilling these documentary requirements can take considerable time for agencies, time that could otherwise have been spent in implementing crucial projects.”
The elimination of Saros and ABMs will be done in two phases: the first to start next year while the second phase will be executed in 2014. “The removal of Saros and ABMs will rest on the full disaggregation of agency lump sums in the ongoing 2013 budget preparations.”
Under the existing system, all agencies are required to secure ABMs or a disaggregated record of an agency’s programmed funds, before they can receive their respective fund releases.
For those requiring further clearance like the infrastructure projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways, the agency submits a special budget request to the DBM, which in turn issues the Saro to the implementing agency once the project and its required funding are approved.
“The government continues to aim for faster budget execution so that we can facilitate the efficient delivery of public services,” the DBM stressed. “We are now moving toward eliminating Saros and ABMs as a rule with the ultimate aim of using the approved national budget as a comprehensive release order come 2013.”
The agency is also aiming for heightened transparency in public fund management. “Appropriations for all departments and agencies shall have a one-year validity period so those lapsed allotments will not automatically carryover into the next fiscal year.” (CGC)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 27, 2012.