Dubai Government's Department of Finance has officioally launched a landmark initiative aimed at strengthening and automating the emirate's fiscal planning and budgeting processes and transitioning Dubai Government to performance based budgeting.
The Smart Fiscal Planning Program, which is expected to result in savings in hundreds of millions of Dirhams, has been sponsored by HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the Chairman of Dubai Government's Supreme Fiscal Committee, and falls within the framework of the Smart Government initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The program is representative of the strategic direction that will be taken by Dubai Government and is an expression of the vision of the Department of Finance, which seeks to enhance the transparency of financial processes and support stable economic growth by increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the administration of public funds.
Abdulrahman Al Saleh, the Director General of the Department of Finance, said the Smart Fiscal Planning Program will save Dubai Government hundreds of millions of Dirhams in expenses, streamline processes and directly impact the achievement of the Department of Finance's vision of sound management of public finance. Furthermore, through efficient management of public resources, the program will enable the Department of Finance to move towards the achievement of its strategic objectives in accordance with Dubai's strategic plan and will strengthen the integrity and effectiveness of fiscal operations.
Al Saleh emphasise the importance of the continuing professional development for all finance personnel across Dubai Government as a prerequisite for enduring growth and progress.
The Department of Finance expects the Smart Fiscal Planning Program to result in substantial savings as it will increase the accuracy of projections, enabling the Department of Finance to link them to the strategic plans of government entities and to the overall strategic plan for the emirate of Dubai. Moreover, efficiencies in all stages of the planning and budgeting process that will result from the successful implementation of the program will translate into significant savings and increased transparency of all fiscal processes, enhancing the effectiveness of the administration of public funds.
The program will address weaknesses in fiscal planning and budgeting processes and systems at Dubai Government entities and will link fiscal planning with strategic planning while transitioning Dubai Government to performance based budgeting. Budget processes will be automated using Oracle Hyperion Public Sector Planning and Budgeting application, the world's most advanced application for public sector strategic and fiscal planning.
The new system will be implemented during the 2016 budget cycle, with a gradual transition to performance budgeting which will take place in accordance with a comprehensive plan for the transformation of Government-wide fiscal processes which spans several stages. The current contractual agreement covers two stages: current state assessment and future state design for fiscal and strategic planning and budgeting processes. The scope of the consultants' agreement with Dubai Government also includes detailed design of all significant elements of the future state, ranging from the assignment of relevant authorities to the design of relevant procedures and reports.
Arif Ahli, Executive Director - Budget and Planning at the Department of Finance, and the Chairman of the Reform Program Steering Committee revealed that the launch of the Smart Fiscal Planning Program signifies the beginning of a total transformation of all fiscal planning, budgeting and strategic planning activities throughout Dubai Government departments which will enable the Department of Finance to optimise resource allocation and administration of public funds.
The Department of Finance, which began preparations for the Smart Fiscal Planning Program in 2011, has appointed KPMG and PDP Consulting, specialists in public fiscal policy, fiscal planning and implementation of Oracle Hyperion, as its consultants for the program.
The launch ceremony was attended by 40 government related entities, 300 fiscal and budget planners, partners of the Department including KPMG, PDP Consulting and Oracle.