Annual conference on the programming and implementation of the activities of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance (2024 edition)

22 Mar, 2024

From Thursday March 21 to Friday March 22, 2024 in Brazzaville, the Ministry of Economy and Finance organized the first annual Conference for programming and implementation of its activities, in the context of the pilot implementation of Budget management of the State in program mode. The work was opened and closed by Mr. Jean-Baptiste ONDAYE, responsible minister, assisted by two Government colleagues concerned by this implementation. In this case, MM.Ludovic NGATSE, in charge of the Budget, public accounts and public portfolio, and Gilbert Mokoki, Health and population.

According to the organizers, this Conference was held at the right time because it is part of the implementation of the vision of the Ministry of Economy and Finance to “Become the vector of economic performance and financial situation by 2026.

The meetings of the first edition of the Annual Conference also saw the participation of representatives of the five other pilot ministries, namely: the ministries responsible, respectively, for the Budget, public accounts and the public portfolio;planning, statistics and regional integration; preschool, primary, secondary education and literacy; technical and vocational education; of Health and Population, as well as other sectoral ministries, development partners and national partners.

The Conference on the programming and implementation of the activities of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance had three highlights.

First, the opening ceremony. Then, the work itself, carried by three themes including: 1- the innovations introduced by the new legal and institutional framework of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance; 2- the priority activities of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance, from 2024; 3- the management, control and monitoring-evaluation frameworks of the programs of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance. Finally, the closing ceremony.

From the opening ceremony

The opening ceremony was marked, first, by the welcome speech delivered by Mr. Athanase NGASSAKI, Chief of Staff of the Minister of Economy and Finance; then, by the opening speech of Mr. Jean-Baptiste ONDAYE, Monetary Authority of Congo.

The Chief of Staff indicated, in substance, that “the meetings of the annual Conference on the programming and implementation of the activities of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance, 2024 edition, are part of what it "is a nobler enterprise than that which consists of bringing together women and men, belonging to the same community of destiny, in order to give meaning to what they share."

Continuing his remarks, he invited the executives of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance to consider themselves as the privileged pioneers of an unprecedented framework of exchanges, whose vocation is to put on the table a constructive and fruitful dialogue of matters which involve the life of the said ministry.

Speaking in turn, the Minister of the Economy and Finance first recalled the Ministry's vision: that of “Becoming the vector of economic and financial performance by 2026”!

In this context, he specified, "we are called to move from a perceived reality to a lived reality, from a desired future to its realization, through the construction of reality", relying on "an impetus patriotic, underpinned by love of country, the participation and involvement of all the leaders of our ministerial department.”

The speaker underlined that the subject of this two-day meeting focused on organizational change, through the innovations introduced in the new texts, on the one hand; and the implementation of the change projects represented by the priority activities and tasks of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance, for the year 2024, on the other hand.

After examining the various diagnoses, he continued, the Minister of the Economy and Finance made certain strong recommendations. These relate, essentially, to the taking into account: firstly, of management in program budget mode, in the responsibilities of the different structures of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance; secondly, the distinction between the steering function and the operational function, on the one hand, and the detachment between the operational decision-making function and the operational execution function, on the other hand; thirdly, the demarcation between the supposed functions and technical functions; quarto, finally, the rise in power of prevention and risk management functions, such as internal audit, management control, studies and planning, human resources management, financial management and equipment, as well as information and communication systems.

As part of the implementation of the recommendations resulting from diagnostic studies, the Congolese Argentier unveiled the creation of the General Directorate of Revenue and Natural Resources (DGRRN) and that of the State Financial Risk Management Unit , before listing some innovations introduced in the new texts. Among which, the clear distinction between the determination of the base and the liquidation of taxes relating to the activities of taxpayers; the institution of the centralization of customs operations carried out by active and sedentary services; the centralization of the operations of public accountants and the establishment of a stratification of the functions of the Treasury into three entities, which are the General Revenue, the General Payroll and the General Treasury.

“Our meeting, which takes place following the promulgation of new texts, aims for perfect linearity in the understanding of these, an understanding which should allow everyone, as many as we are, to be on the same page in our quest light on the spirit and letter of these texts, with a view to ensuring success in their implementation and achieving the desired organizational change,” he indicated.

Mr. Minister Jean-Baptiste ONDAYE also did not fail to recall, on this occasion, the five Programs, accompanied by predefined actions, on which the priority activities and tasks to be implemented are based, activities and tasks having previously been the subject of broad exchanges between executives of the various structures of the Ministry and the cabinet team.

The responsible Minister, organizer of the Conference, provided clear guidelines for the two-day discussions, which had to be sincere, devoid of any prejudice and, all in a spirit of tolerance, marked by conviviality, on the one hand, and lead to better appropriation of the priority activities and tasks of the Ministry of Economy and Finance by all services, on the other hand.

He indicated that the dashboard of the Minister's priority activities and tasks will become the contractual document on the basis of which the monitoring and evaluation of said activities and tasks will be carried out.

“By establishing Results-Based Management (GAR), the President of the Republic, His Excellency Denis SASSOU NGUESSO, aimed for a change of trajectory to improve the performance of public action. This amounts to saying that by concretizing the implementation of RBM within the Ministry of Economy and Finance, we invite ourselves, in accordance with the political will of the Head of State, to become vectors of performance , in general, and in the economic and financial sphere, in particular,” recalled the speaker.

Minister Jean-Baptiste ONDAYE took advantage of this platform to make an exhortation: the one pronounced during his communication on Saturday December 3, 2022, to the executives of certain structures under the supervision of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance . “The realization of the President of the Republic's Social Project is within our reach, I am convinced. This will require teamwork. Because, as the President of the Republic reminded us, we are a chain whose links must interact so as not to break,” he urged.

Work itself

The first theme, relating to the innovations introduced by the new legal and institutional framework, was presented by the Experts, Consultants of the Minister of Economy and Finance, Messrs. Julien ONGAGNA and Lauric NGOUEMBE.

In this presentation, the motivations leading to the revision of the texts were outlined; principles and stages of the process of developing said texts; the main innovations introduced and their justification; expected results of appropriate innovations; lessons and recommendations.

At the end of the presentations, the discussions focused on the process which led to the dissemination of the texts reorganizing the Ministry; substantive innovations concerning the General Directorate of the Treasury and the Information Systems Directorate; non-tax and service revenues; the financial and accounting function of ministries.

Participants welcomed the inclusive method used in the development of the new legal and institutional framework; the publication of a special edition of the Official Journal reserved for all the texts relating thereto; innovations transcribed in said texts.

Consequently, they wanted the completeness of these decrees to be quickly taken care of, using the same participatory approach, until insertion in the Official Journal; that the various designated facilitators are capable of applying these new texts; and that the institutional reforms carried by the new legal framework be popularized.

The highlight of this presentation was marked by the presentation, to each participant, of a copy of the special edition of Official Journal No. 3, of Thursday March 7, 2024, devoted to the various recently published decrees.

The participants then followed the presentation of the priority activities of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance, for the year 2024, made by Mr. Darel Gildas NGOUALA, Inspector General of Finance (IGF).

In his introductory presentation, the latter presented its content as follows: Reminder of the interest for the Ministry to equip itself with a tool for piloting priority activities; Reminder of the participatory approach which led to the development of this dashboard; Presentation of the dashboard of the Minister's priorities, for the year 2024.

Friday March 22, 2024, participants followed the 3rd theme, relating to the management, control and monitoring framework - evaluation of the performance of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, presented respectively by Experts Daniel MIKAYOULOU and Cheikhou Oumar SYLLA .

These two presentations focused on performance management: notional content and tools; management control: a key function for performance management; management control tools; the capacity monitoring-evaluation system, comprising, firstly, a functional organizational framework; secondly, a relevant system of indicators; and, thirdly, assumed accountability.

At the end of these presentations, the discussions focused on the following essential aspects: the coherence of the conduct of management reform in program budget mode between the six pilot ministries; the quality of the environment which impacts performance; taking into account the issue of safety, hygiene and the environment in the services of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance; the budgetary adjustment of allocations, in relation to performance objectives (annual performance projects), for the 2024 financial year; the managerial chain and the monitoring-evaluation system.

From the closing ceremony

The closing ceremony had two major moments: the presentation of the summary of the work, followed by the submission of the deliverables to the Minister of Economy and Finance by Mr. Jean-Béal AKOUNDZE, his Public Relations and Communication Advisor.

Closing the work, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Jean-Baptiste ONDAYE, substantially noted the following.Concerning the new texts which must henceforth govern the services of the department for which he is responsible, while understanding the emotion currently weighing on his colleagues, he urged them to find, in this organizational change, the optimal solution allowing to reconcile personal interests and the collective interest.

Regarding the priority activities of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, for the year 2024, the Congolese Argentier welcomed the fact that at the end of the discussions, “we now have a dashboard which takes up our major concerns for the current financial year.” To this end, he specified that “responsibility for the activity fell to the structure most concerned in its execution. This is so because responsibility is a fundamental principle of results-based management, to the extent that this principle implies that of accountability.

Finally, regarding the issue relating to management, control and monitoring-evaluation, Minister Jean-Baptiste ONDAYE indicated that a monitoring-evaluation campaign should take place at the end of each quarter. In his opinion, “monitoring-evaluation must be able to integrate our collective practice”.

The Communication Unit of the Ministry of Economy and Finance 

Photo credit: B2B Communication