Draft Budget Law
During the full month of August, the MEF invites ministers of all ministries, institutions, and heads of similar public entities together with the governors of all provinces and cities for a meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss and defend their budget proposals in order to reconcile all revenue and expenditure plans. This is done in accordance with the provisions stipulated in the instructive circular to reduce unnecessary spending and to appropriately increase revenue. Within the entire month of September, the MEF assesses the budget to account for any changes to the revenues and expenditures from the previous months discussions. It then balances the budget before preparing the draft financial law (Draft Budget Law) and accompanying explanatory note.
In the first week of October, the MEF will send the Draft Budget Law and accompanying explanatory note to the Council of Ministers for review and approval. A month later, in the first week of November, the National Assembly undertakes the same process of review and approval. At this point, the National Assembly will debate the draft Budget Law and where ever necessary make amendments. The draft will then be submitted to the senate in the first week of December; in time for the draft law to receive final approval prior to 25th December. During this period, the King will promulgate the draft into Law through the Royal Kram.
The Draft Budget Law or Executive’s Budget Proposal is the government’s most important policy instrument. It presents both: how the government plans to both raise revenues through taxes and other sources; and spend the monies to support its priorities, thus transforming policy goals into action.
In Cambodia, the legislature has provided only limited access to a small number of NGOs, to conduct analysis on the draft budget law, between the years 2008 to 2010. This information has never been made public and has only been for internal use. This means that it has not been published or made available to the wider public. However in 2010, the MEF released the Draft Budget Law for 2011 to the NGO Forum on Cambodia following consecutive requests made in October and November 2010 seeking that this information should be released. This is the first time the MEF has released any Draft Budget Law since the start of the Public Financial Management Reforms in 2005.