Assembly proposes committee to better scrutinize national budget


01-June-2012

To help achieve that, the National Assembly needs to set up a new budget committee which shall engage fully in all four cycles - drafting, legislating, implementing and auditing - of the budget process, and a permanent, qualified and competent staff will be required to provide technical assistance to the committee.

Delegates listening to a presentation on the first day of the workshop

This was one of the recommendations made at the two-day “Parliament and the Budget Workshop” which ended yesterday at the Coco D’Or Hotel at Beau Vallon.

The workshop was organised by the National Assembly in collaboration with the World Bank as part of the ongoing effort to strengthen the capacity of both staff and members of the Assembly with the aim of ensuring that the Parliament of Seychelles “lives up to its constitutional responsibility of assuring more responsive and accountable governance”.

Speaking to the press at the end of the workshop, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Patrick Herminie said that with the many changes spurring from the 2008 economic reform programme, the parliament too must adapt itself in order to deliver efficiently on its oversight role and have proper checks and balances on the executive.

“Through a budget committee, the National Assembly will be allowed to have an input in the preparation of the budget before it comes before us for approval. The committee shall produce a report based on observations and put forward recommendations which shall be used in the plenary debate,” said Speaker Herminie. 

The Speaker also expressed dissatisfaction with the current practice and said that the parliament only gets to participate in the legislating and auditing part of the budget process, adding that to date the Finance and Public Accounts Committee has not been able to produce a single report based on the Auditor General’s annual report.

Among other recommendations, the National Assembly proposed to have access to the quarterly report by the Ministry of Finance and to obtain more financial support for the parliament to develop its capacity to oversee the budget cycle.

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