Gross versus net appropriations. The principle of comprehensiveness disallows spending from being offset against revenues. Nonetheless, some countries’ BSLs allow for the earmarking of revenues for specific purposes (e.g., excise taxes on petroleum products must be spent on road maintenance). Other countries, in an effort to encourage government ministries/agencies to mimic private sector entities, have adopted legal provisions that encourage budget entities to raise and retain revenues. In such cases, the legislature should approve the projected revenues and provide guidelines for setting fees or charges that generate such revenues. Any spending that takes place when an agency’s projected revenues are exceeded should be approved by the legislature. Such provisions in the BSL are essential to prevent off-budget ministry/agency spending from their “own” revenues.

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