Planning and programming as core business processes of the Fund are essentially devoted to matching the road maintenance aspirations of designated agencies and available funding; reviewing work plans and their affordability and ensuring that funding available from road user charges and other sources is adequate. However, funding is allocated from the Consolidated Fund.
These processes run in parallel throughout the financial year, commencing in November during the time of issue of the draft Budget Call Circular. These are followed with a round of preliminary consultations with designated agencies, commencing with the Uganda National Roads Authority and Kampala Capital City Authority, to establish preliminary indications of need for the following financial year.
Consultations follow with Ministers responsible for Finance and Roads to discover the acceptability of the required tariff levels and to explore alternative sources of funding.
Consultations also ensue on the allocation of the monies of the Fund to each class of road, traffic level and measured road condition, category of funding and on the division of funds between designated agencies. This allocation is presently formulaic but will progressively move to a ‘needs basis’ depending upon other factors.
Based on these consultations, preliminary funding ceilings are then made known to agencies and to district road committees around the turn of the calendar year, following which the agencies have adequate time to prepare and submit their proposed Annual Road Maintenance Programmes within the timescales prescribed by the Act and also physical accountability of preceding quarters.
It is then the responsibility of the Secretariat, and specifically the Programming Department to evaluate and consolidate the Annual Road Maintenance Programmes of designated agencies to ensure that they are consistent with the mandate of the Fund, affordable and properly prepared. The programmes are consolidated and placed, together with programmes for other works to be financed by the Fund, into the One Year Road Maintenance Plan (OYRMP).
A Programming and Planning Manual was developed embracing all of the relevant business processes and procedures of programming and for the operations of the Fund. Implementing regulations are in course of development and will be enacted in due course.
The department also prepares budget guidelines to compliment the Treasury Final Budget Call Circular issued every FY to guide planning processes. The guidelines communicate final road maintenance planning and operational framework to guide designated agencies in a FY 2015/16.