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In his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, issued Law No (1) of 2016 on Dubai Government Financial Regulation.
The new Law aims to improve the management of public capital and government budgets in addition to further enhancing control of the government’s revenues, expenses and assets.
The new Law regulates the tabulation and approval of financial statements and closing accounts, financial and audit policies and procedures, financial governance KPIs, principles of financial records and improvement of financial risk management.
The new Law is applicable to all government entities listed in the general budget, government entities with independent budgets and entities that receive financial support from the government. The Law names the entities subject to its articles and the responsibilities and authorities of the Supreme Committee of Fiscal Policy and Dubai’s Department of Finance.
The Law outlines the authorities and responsibilities of the Supreme Committee of Fiscal Policy that include revising and approving the Dubai Government’s financial policy prior to submission to the Executive Council for approval; revising and approving Dubai’s general budget and budgets of subsidy-dependent entities prior to submission to His Highness the Ruler, or whomever he delegates for final approval; approving the budgets of entities that have independent budgets based on the recommendation of Dubai’s Department of Finance; approving regulations governing public debt management; and approving financial instruments for government budget balance based on the Department of Finance’s recommendations.
The Law also details the authorities and responsibilities of the Dubai Department of Finance that include the preparation of the Dubai Government’s financial policy based on the emirate’s approved strategic objectives; preparation of general and supplementary budgets; preparation of medium-term financial strategy in collaboration with the concerned government departments; following up on the implementation of approved general and supplementary budgets; and the development of plans to secure cash flow and allocate approved funds.
Furthermore, Dubai Department of Finance is responsible for revising independent budgets and submitting recommendations to the Supreme Committee of Fiscal Policy; establishing regulations that govern collection of public earnings and expenses and bank accounts owned by government entities; establishing policies and procedures for the management of government assets including physical and intangible assets; and preparing the general financial statement by the end of the fiscal year and submitting it to His Highness the Ruler for final approval.
The Law outlines the rules and regulations governing the general budget and auditing of government entities under the purview of this Law.
The Law obligates all Dubai Government departments to issue their financial statements, statements of accounts, agreements and contracts and all other documents related to financial affairs in the Arabic language, with an English translation, if required. The Law also obligates all government departments to use smart financial and accounting systems in all their operations.
Pursuant to the Law, all government entities must establish an internal auditing unit that ensures correct implementation of the approved annual budget, audits financial statements and transactions in line with the applied rules and regulations and prepares all required financial and accounting reports.
The Law also regulates subsidies, grants and donations. According to the Law, government entities may not pay any grants, donations or gifts to any entity beyond the approved allocated budget. Government entities and its employees may also not receive any grants, donations or gifts from any entity without obtaining prior approval from the concerned authorities.
The Law promotes transparency as it obligates the Dubai Department of Finance to circulate the objectives of the government’s financial policies and procedures, publish the general budget’s key performance indicators and announce any changes in auditing procedures.
All existing financial regulations, resolutions and circulations remain valid to the extent that they do not contradict or challenge the articles of the new Law, until further amended or changed.
Law No (1) of 2016 replaces Law No (7) of 1995 concerning the Financial Regulation of Government Departments in the Emirate of Dubai; Law No (35) of 2009 Concerning Administration of Public Funds of the Government of Dubai as amended; and Decree No (21) of 2011 permitting the Government Authorities in the Emirate of Dubai to open Banking Accounts. Furthermore, Law No (1) of 2016 annuls any other regulation that contradicts or challenges its articles.
This Law is effective from the first day of the calendar month following the month in which it is published in the Official Gazette.
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