The money is to ﬁnance the sectors’ third-quarter expenditure priority activities such as salaries, pension, gratuity and development programmes for the period between January and March 2021.In a budget circular dated December 16, Deputy Secretary to the Treasury Patrick Ocailap informed the accounting ofﬁcers that the funds released include schools’ capitation grants to cover the ﬁrst term of the school year.However, due to ﬁnancial pressures, Ocailap said only funds for candidate classes and the requirements to meet the standard operating procedures (SOPs) will initially be released to the schools. “The rest of the capitation grants will be released based on the advice of the education ministry,” he said, without indicating how much he had released to the ministry for the SOPs requirements and capitation grant. According to the circular, the education ministry has been allocated sh17.4b. The ministry’s permanent secretary, Alex Kakooza, said he had not yet looked at the releases.The circular also indicated that 50% of the annual budget for missions abroad has been released to minimise loss on poundage while one-third of the local government development allocation has been programmed for release in this quarter to avoid unspent balances at the end of the ﬁnancial year.The circular also indicated that 50% Ocailap said the release takes into account Cabinet’s decision on the efﬁciency savings from the non-critical activities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding for non-critical activities has been suppressed in order to ﬁnance critical items.”Accordingly, the budget items which are considered non-critical such as workshops and seminars, national day celebrations, travel abroad, welfare and entertainment have been suppressed to free resources for more critical activities in line with the Cabinet decision and the guidance provided in the budget execution circular for 2020/21 ﬁnancial year,” he said.He explained that the expenditure limits have been based on the Government’s annual cash plan that has been adjusted to take into account revenue performance in the ﬁrst half of the ﬁnancial year and the projected revenue collections to the end of the 2020/21 ﬁnancial year. With respect to external ﬁnancing, Ocailap said the allocations are based on the received and projected disbursements by the development partners, and the expenditure limits for local revenue have been based on the half-year collections and remittances to the Consolidated Fund.”You should ensure that all your priority expenditures are addressed within the resources advised to you in this circular. In particular, rent and utilities payment should have a ﬁrst call on the allocations for the non-wage recurrent budget of your votes. Accounting ofﬁcers should ensure that their institutions are connected to the prepayment systems to avoid accumulation of arrears, he said.Ocailap said payment of salaries, pension, and gratuity must be effected by the 28th day of every month based on the veriﬁcation undertaken. He also said payment for supplies and other services provided by the private sector must be done within 14 days to avoid causing distress to the suppliers and service providers and to facilitate economic recovery. Ocailap emphasised that unpaid bills/certiﬁcates arising out of the revenue shortfall and budget suppression experienced in the ﬁrst half of this ﬁnancial year should also be prioritised when allocating the limits. He expressed concern over the increased reported wage shortfalls since the decentralisation of payroll management.”Please note that any unauthorised recruitment and poor wage estimation, resulting in shortfalls that require supplementary funding, are unacceptable. Any vote that reports persistent wage shortfalls will leave me with no option, but to cause a forensic audit on the payroll of that vote with possible sanctions for the responsible accounting ofﬁcer,” he warned.