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This research work aims to explore the role of the executive and the legislative powers in budgetary matter in Cameroon. The objectives of this research are both general and specific. The general objective of this work is to examine the role of the legislative and executive in budgetary matter. Specific objectives is to analyze the concept of budget, To examine the legal framework of the legislative and executive in budgetary matters, To analyze the challenges faced by the legislative and executive power in exercising their duties and To make policy recommendations. The main research questions include: What are the roles of the legislative and executive powers in budgetary matters in Cameroon and Specific research questions include what is the concept of budget?

What is the legal framework on the legislative and executive power in budgetary matter? What are the challenges faced by the legislative and executive in executing their budgetary power? And finally, what policy recommendations can be made to fill the gap facing?



Budget has been a very important phenomenon in the functions of state institutions it has considered as the life blood of the state. without it, state institutions cannot function properly. Budget is defined as the outline of state revenue and expenditure authorized under the finance law, in terms of revenue and expenditure within the context of a financial year as per section 4 (1) of the law n 2018/012 of the 11 July 2018[1] .Again, the state budget shall determine for a financial year, the nature, amount and assignment of revenue and expenditure as well as the resulting budgetary balance and the terms and conditions of its financing. It shall be adopted into a finance law as per Section 23 of law 2018[2] relating to the fiscal regime of the state. As such budget or state budget is the main element in finance law.

Public finance law is a discipline that studies the legal regime of revenue and expenditure of the state and other public persons under public law.

Any other author: Finance 3rd Edition by Zvi Bodie et Robert Merton.

Finance 3rd edition by zvi bodie et robert merton[3].

Finance consist of studying the allocation of resources in situations of uncertainty. There are 3 analytical pillars that is, optimization in due course, evaluation of activities and the management of risks.[4]

There are certain principles that govern budget in Cameroon. There are principles related to the execution of the budget.

The first principle is the principle of annual budget. It is one of the oldest principles because it relates to the principle of consent to taxation. This principle of annual budget means that budgetary authorizations occur each year and that they receive execution at the same time. The jurisdiction of this principle is on a political and financial reasons. Politically, it is for the survival of the parliament that is, budgetary authorization is granted for a short period and control Frequency of legislative power on Executive power.[5]

Financially, the year is relatively short period beyond which forecasts lose their entire regime because they are victims of disturbing phenomena such as economic, social and political fluctuations and weather.

The second principle is balance-budget. This means that the revenue and spending should be equal within the budget of the state. For instance,[6] the state`s general budget for the 2021 financial year stands at 4.865.2 billion and total expenditure stands at the same time.

The third principle is budgetary sincerity. This principle was introduced in the Cameroon`s public finance by the 2007 law in its article 3 (1)[7] which stipulates that the finance law shall present accurately all state revenue and expenditure. The principle implies that information provided shall be clear, precise and complete in view of data available at the national and international level at the time the estimates are made.

It prohibits the Cameroonian government to underestimate expenditures or overestimate the resources that it presents in the budget bill.

This principle is about the clarity of information provided by the accuracy in the information and competence of information. This allows a better appraisal of the financial situation of the state and the effective implementation of the budget.

The fourth principle is the principle of budgetary unity. According to Professor[8] PAUL AMSELEK, the budget should include all expenditures and resources of the state and the government is obliged to present all the revenues and expenditures of the state in a single document. This is to avoid fragmentation and confusion, ensure transparency, clarity and sincerity. it leads to efficient control by the parliament.

The fifth is the principle of universality. This is laid down in paragraph three of the section four of the 2018 law as follows, aggregate revenue shall correspond to aggregate expenditure. The integration amount of proceeds shall be included in the state budget without making any distinction between revenue and expenditure. That’s to melt in one mass the various resources of the state and to charge all public services expenditures on this mass of revenue.

The introduction of this principle is to strengthen the authority of parliament in the control of government action.

1.1 Background of the study

It’s particularly easy for the general public to participate in debates over public finance. The things discoursed are often abstract[9], deal with complex subject and generally use of very technical terms. The result is that discussion around the state’[10]s public finance usually take place among experts such as; economists, tax experts, policy analysts and jurists. In specialized circles, economic journals[11] and magazines, research institutes, government departments and similar places. Yet questions about public finance should concern us all. Our government’s budgetary choices reflect society’s choices and they have impacts on a great many of our daily activities. In addition, we contribute directly to funding states activities through our taxes.

Section 4[1] law no 2018/012.

A financial contribution that gives us the legitimate right to discuss budgetary choices. This does not mean that all of us must take an active part in such discussions and decisions; we elect representatives to do this in our place. We can certainly make our references known to our representatives and form our own opinions on public finance issues.

In recent years, decision making processes have become very centralized in Cameroon. Budgets are written in a few decision-making centers situated close to political powers at the expense of parliamentarians’ process.

Parliament is the law-making body in all aspects. But in reality, it’s a small fraction of the parliament made up of Cameroons’ People Democratic Movement (CPDM) members who actually take part in the consideration and adoption stage. The other fraction of parliamentarians made up of Social Democratic Front (SDF), Union Des Populations Du Cameroon (UPC).

MRC, and others are not aware of what is happening. That is why, during consideration at the parliament, parliamentarians from other political parties always boycott the session. The truth is that, the Executive after initiating the budget bill, the finance minister sends the draft bill to CPDM parliamentarians and also informs them on the weaknesses of the bill, for them to know how to cover the weakness and adopt the bill.

They manage it before tabling it to a plenary session of all parliamentarians. The powers of the parliament are not only limited but weakened. The parliament is in charge of adopting state budget and budget bills concerning the decentralized regional and local authorities the parliament neither have the right to initiate nor amend budget bills.The study of public finance started way back from the period of the decline of the Western Roman Empire and the Middle Ages. The English monarch was the sole provider of the needs of the kingdom.

At the end of the middle ages, his personal finance could no longer cover the expenses of the kingdom. The king then sort for the participation of the lords in raising budgets for the kingdom. The lords exceptionally contributed to the covering of public expenditure but claimed the right to control the granting of subsidies to the monarch who wished to establish a link between the permanence of spending and permanent tax.The lords resisted this link between the permanence of spending and a permanent tax for fear of attacks against their financial independence.

1.2 The origin of public finance

The British parliament has conquered its legislative power through its financial power. Indeed, in the 13th and 14th century, the English parliament has no power in adopting laws but had power to consent to taxes. This power has been used as a weapon by the parliamentary assemblies to conquered their legislative power which was held exclusively by the king. The defeat of the Bovines in 1214 will trigger this conquest.

Indeed, this defeat has financially been heavily felt by the English Royal treasury.

To reconstitute it, King Jean Sans Terre decided to collect new taxes. He encountered the opposition of British nobility who formalized through the Magna Carta, the great Charter in 1215 that   king may not levy taxes without the consent of English barons that is without the authorization of the common council of the kingdom.

In 1297, the authorization of the knights is added to those of the English barons. In the 14th century, parliaments developed its financial powers by dictating to the king that the votes of new taxes shall be conditioned by their affectation to expenditure accepted by the parliament. Parliament obtained also to have a control over the accounts of the king. This few episodes illustrate a conquest marked by the conflicts between parliament and the royal authority and the concern of the latter to, particular in 16th and 17th centuries with Tudors and the Stuarts, to regain the power so conceded. More specifically, the royal authority in the person of Charles 1; was vigorously opposed to parliament.

But they later responded by providing temporary financial authorization. To overcome this resistance, Charles 1 dissolved the parliament. But two years later, Charles 1 saw the petitions of rights, extending the parliamentary authorization of all taxes, imposed on him. Royal resistance to these parliamentary claims continued in 1629 with shelving of parliament for 11 years, the Tyranny of 11 years and with the creation of a new tax of maritime trade in 1634: the ship money intended to equip the navy. IN 1640, the country was on the brink of civil war and the Scottish thread led Charles 1 to convene the parliament. The king’s ministers were tried and executed for having levied the ship money execution; Charles 1 did not have the courage to impede.

This conflict, coupled with complacencies showed by Charles 1 to Catholicism led to a rupture with parliament-synonymous with civil war between the supporters of the king and the army of parliaments allied to the scots. This conflict ended to the decapitation of Charles 1 in 1649. There after the financial power of parliamentarians is materialized with the bill of rights. In 1689, which reaffirmed the principle of consent to taxation and formalizes the budgetary authorization for revenue and expenditure in an annual frame work?

The British will inspire France, but unlike British model, this conquest and the emergence of a budgetary law in France will be last ranging from the revolution to the end of July monarchy (1789-1845). Historically, the principle of consent to taxation existed in France since the middle ages indeed, the “Etat generaux” authorized during the hundred years war. The levy of several taxes including the Salt tax and the “taille” or commoner tax.

But gradually, however, this principle is no more applied; Charles 7 affirming the royal rights to impose. The principal reaper with the revolutionary period Louis 16 convening the Etat generaux because of the financial situation of France. The King is therefore forced to accept that any fiscal creation or extension shall be subject to the consent of the members of parliament. This principle is later inserted in the bill of human and citizen right of 1789.

Then it was with the restoration and July monarchy that the French budgetary law was setup in its basis with the emergence of budgetary principles, principles governing the preparation of state budgets. Thus, the finance Act for 1817 required parliamentary authorization of expenditures and establishes the principles of funds specialty by department, while the ordinance of 14th September, 1822 laid down the principle of annual budget vote and required non contraction of revenue and expenditure to ensure clarity of the information to parliamentarians. Public finance was in two different eras; the classic era and modern era.

In the classical era, the state was so liberal. The state did not intervene in internal affairs but in external affairs only, such as diplomacy, defense, security. It was characterized by the small volume of the budget. Taxation was its only source of revenue. It did not use its budget to intervene in the economy and it advocated for balance between revenue and expenditures, that is a person should not spend more than he earns or has. Following the economic crisis and world wars, the liberalism of the state or watch dog was abandoned in favor of interventionism of the welfare states which announces the adverts of modern public finance.

In modern public finance, welfare states or interventionists, entered the era expansion of the state missions with the addition of sovereign missions, economic and social missions. The current public finance has the following characteristics;

-The increase in volume of the budget because taxation is no longer the only source of revenue as many non-fiscal resources are now provided in the finance law, various taxes, royalties, donations, loans etc.

-The budget is no longer neutral since it is used as an instrument of economic and social policy.

-The budget equilibrium or balance is no longer a dogma because the development of the state intervention has led to the questioning of the Sacrosanct principle of balance. To face the unstable economic and social situation, several imbalance theories have emerged; the theory of cyclical budget, the theory of deficit spending and the theory of budget impasse.

After these happenings Europe, Africa and Cameroon most especially was not left out. Cameroon has signed several directives concerning public finances one of which is CEMAC directive of 19 December 2011[12]. This directive was on the influence of community law on the public finances auditing system in Cameroon as regards CEMAC instructions delivered on the 19 December 2011 by Yves Gabriel Djeya Kamdon Doctorant en Driot public `a l’universite de lille 2. Law no 2018/011 and law no 2018/012 relative on the one hand to the code of transparency and good governance in the management of public finances in Cameroon and on the other hand ,to the organic financial law have transposed CEMAC directives of 2011 into domestic law and clearly distinguish between administrative control ,parliamentary control  and judicial control .The benefits of CEMAC guide lines provides guidance for these updates . And may require an adaptation of the new financial regime on certain aspect  

1.3 statement of the problem

[1] Section 4(1) of law no 2018/012 of 11 July 2018

[2] Section 23 law 2018

[3] Finance, 3 edition by Zvi Bodie et Bobert Merton

[4] 3 Analytical pillars: optimization in due course,

Evaluation of activities and management of risks

[5] L’essentiel des finance publique  d’Etat 17 edition by Francois Chouvel

[6] LEDGERBOOK, INCOME AND EXPENCES(Horizontal) accounting and book keeping

[7] Article 3(1) states that finance law shall   present accurately all state revenue and expenditure

[8] Professor Paul   AMSELEK  ,  state budget is a single document consisting of revenue and


[9] GENEVIVE TELLIER, Canadian public finance translated by Dr. KENTSA ETIENNE

[10] Public Finance and public policy by Jonathan Gruber

[11] US Government part 1 by Quantum scientific publishing

[12] CEMAC Directive of 19 December 2011 by Yves Gabriel Kamdon,

Doctorant  en Droit public

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