Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia on Monday called on Parliament to use its oversight role to ensure that Executive works with a national budget that will reflect the aspirations of the people. The national budget must transform the lives of the people through legislation, budget and fiscal oversight, the Vice President said. Dr Bawumia whose statement was read by Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation was speaking at the opening of the 4th African Network of Parliamentary Budget Officers (AN-PBO) Conference in Accra.
The four-day conference slated for 9th – 12th September, 2019 is on theme: “The role of African Parliaments in fiscal oversight: Contributing to the African Union 2063 Development Agenda”. The conference which is being attended by participants from Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Canada and Cambodia is expected to enhance the capacity of Parliamentary Budget Officers.
Dr Bawumia said Parliament can use the public financial management systems to reduce the fiscal risk that threaten the economic growth of the nation. According to him, the effective exercise of the mandate however required high quality research and analysis to focus on both short and long term budget outcomes necessary to establish stronger policy, legal and institutional framework.
He said the resource allocations were in a contested domain and they required that the relevant technocrat or institution provide the requisite support. Dr Bawumia also stated that establishment of the Parliamentary Budget Offices (PBOs) across the continent arguably represented the most significant institutional initiative to enhance the African Continent Fiscal Responsivity Framework to add to the democratic process in their various countries.
He said it was important for parliamentarians whether in opposition or not to be well informed about government policy choices they were to make all the time. He said PBOs is one of the growing numbers of independent fiscal institutions being established around the world.