Challenges of budgeting at National Social Security Fund
A budget whether for a public organization or a private profit oriented company, is a basic and powerful tool in management. In this regard it serves as a tool for planning and controlling the use of scarce financial resources in the accomplishment of organizational goals, (Schick, 1999). The royal institute of public administration puts it thus: “Budgets occupy a leading place among the special tools of management employed to direct and control the affairs of large and multifarious organizations. They are used not only by governments, where budgeting had its origins, but in other public bodies, in industry and commerce and in private families ” (Coates, 2002). This was a case study aimed at establishing the challenges of budgeting process at NSSF. According to Donald and Pamela (1998), a descriptive study is concerned with finding out the what, where and how of a phenomenon. The objectives of the study were; to investigate the challenges faced when drawing up a budget to be used by the organization and also to determine how the organization can effectively face the budgeting challenges. The study was a case study which was carried out in the National Social security Fund, the population of interest was the board of directors and the senior as they are the ones concerned with budgeting issues at the organisation. There are fifteen (9) Board Members and ten (16) senior managers at NSSF. This was the target population for the study. The researcher used questionnaires, observation and interview as the main instruments of collecting data. The content analysis was used to analyze the respondents’ views about the factors affecting budgeting process. The data was be coded to enable the responses to be grouped into categories and presented using tables, percentages and frequencies. From the study, the researcher found that NSSF faced some challenges when drawing up budget, the biggest challenges included; on- commitment- various heads do not take budget seriously leading to giving too high or ambitious budgets which they end up not achieving leading to complaints from the board, limited time for the activities which goes hand in hand with the coordination of the exercise, budgeting may coincide with other routine seasonal activities, management of expenses during low production times and also management of peoples expectations against approved budget is also a challenge In order to overcome these challenges, the respondents suggested that all units should be involved in the budget preparation, evaluation and control cycle, management should avail more time in reviewing variances, budget exercise should also get adequate time allocation and proper participation/co-ordination of the exercise led by the chairman of the board.
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