We have two issues:
- There has been some confusion in the distinction between activity budgets and planned disbursements.
- The original guidance allowed for annual budgets to be reported. This makes the alignment of forward-looking data to recipient country planning cycles (which may be based on different financial year) unworkable.
The intended use of these two elements is for the total commitment for an activity to be broken down into periodic budgets covering the lifetime of the activity, and for specific future releases of funds to be reported as planned disbursements. Budgets inform overall planning. Planned disbursements aid cash-flow forecasts.
Activity budget is defined as: "The recommendation is that, where and when possible, the quarterly or annual planned budget for the lifetime of the activity is reported." We recommend that this is replaced with:
"Quarterly breakdowns of the total budget for the lifetime of the activity."
Planned disbursement is defined as "The recommendation is that, where and when possible, the amounts it is planned to disburse and spend on the activity in each of the next three financial years are reported." We recommend that this is replaced with:
"Specific amounts that are planned to be disbursed or spent on particular future dates or within particular future quarterly periods."