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This is reinforced by Essuman and Akyeampong (2011) as well as Inkoom (2011) who contended that after more than two decades since the adoption of decentralization in Ghana, there remained valid concerns which need to be studied through continuous robust theoretical and empirical analysis.It is from this perspective that the study assessed the influence of budgeting practices adopted by District Assemblies in Ghana on service delivery, with the main proposition that the budgeting practices do not significantly affect service delivery.This paper looked at budgeting as practiced in the DAs where issues on budgeting policies, processes, persons involved as well as public dissemination of the budgets were analyzed and how they influence service deliver.
The importance of budgeting can be linked to the new public management (NPM), the allocative efficiency, transaction cost, the principal agent and systems theoretical perspectives.
Hamid (2013) based on the tenets of NPM approach, notes that efficient resource management is essential in accelerating the pace of economic growth and development, as well as improving the general wellbeing of the society.
Abstract This research analysed the role played by budgeting as practiced in the district assemblies of Ghana towards service delivery.
The research adopted a mixed-method research design where qualitative and quantitative data were gathered using questionnaires, interviews, focus group discussions and document analysis.
These strategies have covered several areas of decentralization including human resource management and financial management (Kinemo et al., 2015).
In Ghana, decentralization has taken the form of District Assemblies since 1992.The study used multistage sampling to pick the respondents for the questionnaires, key interview informants and the participants in the focus group discussions.Thirty four out of 170 district assemblies which existed by 2008 were sampled.The findings showed that citizens rated service delivery poorly, while district assembly officials rated service delivery as satisfactory. The need for prudent public financial management for development objectives to be achieved is emphasised in many circles.The study established that budgeting practices had positive significant influence on service delivery. For example, while underlining the importance of favourable environment for undertaking productive economic activities as necessary for development, the World Bank (2011) emphasizes the need for developing countries to ensure efficient management of funds.Despite the benefits that can accrue from a clear understanding of the link between budgeting and service delivery in public sector entities, available studies on this subject are still in their infancy.Ahmad and Brosio (2009) noted that the question of how to improve public sector service delivery remains a key concern for scholars and policy makers in line with the New Public Management (NPM) and allocative efficiency tenets.In addition, Inkoom observes that the national budgeting and accounting systems are difficult to align with the accounting needs at the local levels.Moreover, on the basis of allocative efficiency, Speer (2012) argues that though large amounts of financial resources are allocated for service provision to the decentralized governments, financial management practices have remained the weak link.Norton (2006) creates the link between budgeting and planning, indicating that planning is an intelligent behavior that involves visualizing the future, imagining what results one expects to achieve and determining the activities and resources needed to achieve those results.In addition, Jordaan (2007) defines a budget as a quantified, planned course of action over a definitive time period, comprising estimating inputs and the costs of inputs along with associated outputs and revenues from outputs. (2013) on the other hand indicates that budgeting is the activity of recording financial and/or non-financial elements into the budget.