This paper looked at budgeting as practiced in the DAs where issues on budgeting policies, processes, persons involved as well as public dissemination of the budgets were analyzed and how they influence service deliver.
The case for decentralization and decentralized budgeting remains strong especially in Africa (Hope, 2014) where countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa have adopted varied strategies to strengthen decentralization (Finch, 2015).
In addition, Inkoom observes that the national budgeting and accounting systems are difficult to align with the accounting needs at the local levels.
Moreover, on the basis of allocative efficiency, Speer (2012) argues that though large amounts of financial resources are allocated for service provision to the decentralized governments, financial management practices have remained the weak link.
Lu and Willoughby (2015) argue that administrative and communication capacities of budgets are important in ensuring transparency and accountability in the management of public funds.
The importance of budgeting was emphasized by Ekholm and Wallin (2000) who noted that budgets, as a control practice, have always played a key role in managing institutions by providing a roadmap for future activities and to set a series of goals to be achieved and the means by which to achieve those goals (Awio & Northcott, 2001). (2013) insist that rigorous planning of any economic activity is an essential element for the success of those activities.
Tyer and Willand (1997) define budgeting as valuation of receipts and expenditures or a public balance sheet, and as a legislative act establishing and authorizing certain kinds and amounts of expenditures and taxation. (2004) described a budget as the quantitative expression of a proposed plan of action by management for a specified period, while Blumentritt (2006) defines budgeting as the process of allocating an organization's financial resources to its units, activities and investments.
In many countries, governments are utilizing decentralization tools for poverty reduction, improving representation of the poor and better targeting of service delivery (Jütting et al., 2004).
Despite the benefits that can accrue from a clear understanding of the link between budgeting and service delivery in public sector entities, available studies on this subject are still in their infancy.
Ahmad and Brosio (2009) noted that the question of how to improve public sector service delivery remains a key concern for scholars and policy makers in line with the New Public Management (NPM) and allocative efficiency tenets.