United Arab Emirates Federal Budgetary Process: The Decision-Making Styles

By Mansour, Ahmed Mustafa Elhussein | Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Fall 2010 | Go to article overview

United Arab Emirates Federal Budgetary Process: The Decision-Making Styles


Mansour, Ahmed Mustafa Elhussein, Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management


ABSTRACT. The paper concentrates on the administrative side of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) budgetary process and employs a quantitative approach to test two major hypotheses about the style of decision making and the impact of this style on annual estimations of public expenditures. Therefore, the major question of the paper is not concerned with the content of these decisions (annual estimations) in a substantive descriptive and normative manner, as in public finance studies, but rather with the analysis of the outcomes of these decisions. The paper uses data from annual budgetary allocations to test certain hypotheses and concludes that UAE budgetary decision-makers in United Arab Emirates Federal ministries use an incremental style of decision-making to estimate their annual expenditure.

INTRODUCTION

The major objective of this paper is to analyze and test hypotheses about the style of decision-making in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) federal government budgetary process. Specifically, the paper concentrates on the administrative side of the budgetary process; and employs a quantitative approach to study the style of decision-making and the impact of this style on the annual estimations of public expenditures in the federal budget. Therefore, the major question of the paper is not concerned with the content of these decisions (annual estimations) in a substantive descriptive and normative manner, as in public finance studies, but rather with the analysis of the outcomes of these decisions. This approach relates the decisions of the government budget to the agenda of public policy because public budgeting is a process of resource allocations for public goals (William, 1980, p. 320). In fact a budget is a mirror which reflects government policies and how those policies are funded.

The United Arab Emirates emerged as an independent state in 1971. The UAE political system is a federal one composed of a federal government and seven highly autonomous Emirates governments (i.e. governorates sing, in Arabic (Emara). These are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Shargah, Ajman, Ummelqwain, Rasellkhaima, and Alfujaira. Each Emara has a governor. The government has three layers of administration: the federal, the Emara and the local municipality levels. The UAE Constitution created a relatively weak federal government with limited political powers and revenues. Constitutionally the federal government revenues come mainly from the annual contributions of the seven Emirates governments and its self-generated revenues. In practice only the rich Abu Dhabi and Dubai contribute to the federal budget. The former contributes over 85% of the federal revenues.

Incrementalism in UAE federal budget is facilitated by two major factors which contribute to complexity in the decision making processes. These are the structure of government and the budget time span. The first factor is related to the policy making processes in which informal and formal structures combine to make the system highly pluralistic and complex. The informal structure of government consists of networks of patron client relationships. Each Emara has a governor who is usually the sheikh of the strongest tribe and at the same time a member of the Supreme Council of Emirates Governors which is the supreme legislative body in the country. Sub sheikhs of smaller tribes work to connect their followers to the governors and represent channels for demands for services and benefits. Since sheikhs and sub sheikhs occupy official positions in the federal government, the informal patron-client structure is integrated in the formal one without losing its clear identity. This situation puts considerable pressures on the federal budget especially for services and employment. Since annual budget allocations establish benefits for different social groups it is very difficult to change them drastically without disrupting the patron-client relationship.

The second factor is related to the time span of the fiscal year in UAE which starts in January. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

United Arab Emirates Federal Budgetary Process: The Decision-Making Styles
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.