Budgets in Iraqi Public Universities: A Case Study on the University of Diyala

Ammar Ghazi Al-Ezzi, Modar Ali Abdullatif

Abstract


This study aimed at exploring actual planning for and implementing of budgets in Iraqi public universities by studying the appropriateness of budget allocations in Iraqi public universities for achieving their stated objectives, the degree of similarity between budget allocations and actual performance, and the degree of annual change in the figures of budgets and actual performance. The study used a case study approach applied on the University of Diyala, as an example of Iraqi public universities. The researchers analysed the budgets and annual accounts of the University of Diyala for five years (2008-2012), and conducted interviews with financial officers related to the budgeting process from the university. The study found that budget allocations in the University of Diyala are not appropriate for it to achieve its stated objectives, as most of the allocations were for salaries and related accounts, at the expense of other important issues, especially those related to scientific research. The study also found large deviations among budget components between the allocated amounts and the actual expenditures, in addition to large unjustified changes in amounts of budget allocations and actual expenditures during the years covered by the study. Through conducting interviews with financial officers, the study found several reasons for the deviations and unjustified changes, including insufficient coordination of work between the universities and the Ministry of Finance, and among the different levels of authority in the university itself regarding the budget, and the need to move funds from one area to another to close deficits, especially regarding salaries and expansion plans. The study suggested several recommendations to improve the process of planning for budgets and implementing them in the University of Diyala and generally in other Iraqi public universities. These recommendations include improving the coordination of work between the universities and the Ministry of Finance, and among the different levels of authority in the university itself regarding the budget, improving the plans for expansion and its related expenditures on salaries and capital assets, and increasing the allocation and actual spending of funds on scientific research and postgraduate studies in order to better meet the university’s stated objectives.

Keywords


Budget, allocations, actual expenditures, University of Diyala, Iraqi public universities

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