This guide relates to:
In the middle of each financial year, the adjustments process provides an opportunity to make permissible revisions to the budget, in response to changes that have affected the planned government spending for that year. The adjusted budget may allocate unused funds, mainly from the contingency reserve, and additional amounts that have been approved for particular types of spending, if that be the case.
The adjusted budget estimates are tabled in the National Assembly by the Minister of Finance, accompanied by an Adjustments Appropriation Bill. The permissible adjustments are reflected as part of the adjusted budget, which also includes the amounts initially allocated in the Appropriation Act and in any subsequent special appropriations. A Division of Revenue Amendment Bill that sets out how the adjustments affect the Division of Revenue Act is also tabled.
The Adjusted Estimates of National Expenditure (AENE) describes in detail the revisions to spending plans for the first year of the MTEF period: the current financial year. It also includes revised spending and departmental revenue projections for the current financial year, and any revisions to performance projections emanating from the technical financial amendments tabled in the AENE, if that be the case.
The aim of the AENE publication is to provide: detailed information on technical adjustments; and actual receipts, expenditure and performance achievements for the first six months of the current financial year.
The datasets for each of these adjustments emanates from yearly national government adjustment budget processes. At the beginning of each adjustment budget process, the National Treasury sends guidance to departments depicting the information that they are expected to submit to the National Treasury should they be applying for an adjustment to their budget. The National Treasury’s Senior Management Committee examines the requests in line with the criteria for each type of adjustment, set out in legislation and the Treasury Regulations, and then forms recommendations to the Minister of Finance, and to the Ministers Committee on the Budget in the case of requests for unforeseeable and unavoidable expenditure.
Departments are then sent letters informing them of any approved adjustments to budget allocations. Institutions then prepare and submit their data and narrative inputs in line with the Adjusted Estimates of National Expenditure Guidelines to the National Treasury for the AENE publication. National Treasury then verifies and edits these inputs to produce the AENE publication. The AENE is published in a number of formats (including in print and as an Excel pivot table). The AENE is tabled in Parliament annually as part of the national adjustments budget.
Section 30(2) of the Public Finance Management Act (1999) (PFMA) specifies the type of spending permissible as an adjustment that the adjusted budget may provide for. Section 76 of the Treasury Regulations, issued by National Treasury in terms of the PFMA provide instructions on how to comply with the Act.
The adjustments appropriation makes provision for:
The AENE is released as part of the national adjustments budget information release, at the end of October. It sets out the adjustments to the budget for the current financial year and also reviews departmental performance, receipt and expenditure information for the first half of the year (April to September).
The structured data supports
The supporting AENE PDF documents are useful for:
Vulekamali has annual AENE information for all national departments. The following are available for each department:
Note: The 2018 Adjusted Estimates of National Expenditure vote for Basic Education (Vote 14) is used as an illustrative example for this section. It can be found here.
All the AENE documents (PDF, Excel, and CSV) include expenditure adjustments data using the following classifications:
Adjustments by vote (department): This refers to the national government department. This classification is implicit in the individual PDF files which by their nature refer to just one vote.
Adjustments by economic classification: This refers to the economic characteristics of the adjustment. There are up to five levels of economic classification for each adjustment item (i.e. Levels 1 to 5), with higher levels representing greater degrees of granularity. The CSV document include all five levels while the PDF documents display the first two levels.
The level 1 economic classification divides all expenditure into four main economic sections: current payments (payments made for operational requirements such as those for compensation of employees and goods and services); transfers and subsidies; payments for capital assets (assets that can be used for more than one year); and payments for financial assets (loans or equity investments in public corporations).
Adjustments by programme and sub-programme: This refers to adjustments by department programmes, which align spending to activities. Adjustments can be tracked to the programme and sub-programme level.
Adjustments by type of appropriation: This refers to whether the expenditure was the original budgeted amount (main appropriation), whether it is part of a special appropriation, an adjustments appropriation, or whether it is the final adjusted budget (adjusted appropriation). The adjustments appropriations are subdivided into roll-overs, unforeseeable / unavoidable expenditure, virements and shifts, declared unspent funds, or other adjustments.
Adjusted Estimates of National Expenditure PDF Documents
Each department’s PDF chapter can be found on Vulekamali on the department detail page. The PDF contains a detailed narrative of departmental spending and achievements in the first six months of the year, and adjustments to the budget for the rest of the year. The chapters contain the following sections:
The CSV data file contains the raw data used to produce the AENE adjustment tables. This file can imported into Excel or other analysis programmes for further analysis. The file contains the following fields: