Ministry seeks to align secondary school financial year with Treasury
The Ministry of Education has sought a change in the alignment of school financial year for public secondary schools to correspond with the government’s financial year.
Currently, the schools’ financial year runs from 1st January – 31st December. Through a circular, the ministry of education has directed the change of schools’ financial year from January 1- December 31 to July 1- June 30 which is the government’s financial year.
The new fiscal changes demand that Public secondary schools release their financial statements at the end of the financial year through the International Public Sector Accounting standards financial template.
“Therefore, the school’s financial reporting period shall be from July 1 to June 30 effective from June 30 this year,” the circular reads.
The circular further directs schools that have already released financial statements for the financial year ending December 31 to prepare six months of financial statements up from January 1 to June 30 this year.
Schools that have not submitted their financial statements for the financial year ending December 31 2020 are asked to prepare statements from January 1 to June 30.
This directive seeks to allow the quarter a year audit conducted in government to trickle down to public secondary schools.
According to the circular signed by Basic Education Principal Secretary Julius Jwan, school heads should ensure that financial statements are ready by September 30.
According to the school academic calendar, the current school financial year starts on January 1 and ends on December 31,
This contradicts Section 87 of the Basic Education Act, 2013 which states that” the financial year of the department of education shall be the government financial year.”
What this implies is that Projects funded by the government that will not be completed by June 30th will end up with insufficient funds since the National Treasury will recall any balances. Schools will also be subjected to quarterly audits within the financial year.
According to the ministry, the new financial template will promote uniformity, transparency, and accountability for capitation and other resources at the schools.
The National Treasury which is mandated with setting accounting standards approved the use of the new financial template (IPSAS).