The changing role of parliament in the budget process
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The Changing Role of Parliament in the Budget Process. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey (GNAT) in collaboration with Sigma and MATRA FLEX Afyonkarahisar, Turkey 8-9 October 2008. The Parliament and the Budget. Enhancing its Capacity for Oversight Prof. Daniel Tarschys.

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The Changing Role of Parliament in the Budget Process

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The changing role of parliament in the budget process

The ChangingRole of Parliamentin the Budget Process

The Grand National Assembly of Turkey (GNAT)in collaboration with Sigma

and

MATRA FLEX

Afyonkarahisar, Turkey8-9 October 2008


The parliament and the budget

The Parliament and the Budget

Enhancing its Capacity for Oversight

Prof. Daniel Tarschys


The power over the purse

”The Power over the Purse”

  • Early rulers convened ”grand councils” when they needed new aids and contributions

  • Meanwhile, they relied on their ”small councils”

  • Eventually, these two fluid bodies were institutionalised into parliaments and cabinets


The power balance under parliamentarism

The Power Balance under Parliamentarism

  • Parliaments are formally the ultimate decision-makers on money matters

  • But under parliamentarism, most real decisions are nevertheless made by governments


The stages of budgeting

The Stages of Budgeting

  • requests,

  • central priority-setting,

  • legislation,

  • execution,

  • auditing

  • scrutiny.


Where does parliament come in

Where Does Parliament Come In?

  • requests,

  • central priority-setting,

  • legislation,

  • execution,

  • auditing

  • scrutiny.


Involvement in the legislative phase

Involvement in the legislative phase

  • US Congress vs UK Parliament

  • Most countries: very few amendments

  • Three Models of Budgetary Examination:

    * single budget committee

    * specialised committees

    * mixed solution


Models for auditing

Models for Auditing

  • Anglo-Saxon Model: Comptroller General

  • Mediterranean Model: Court of Auditors

  • N. & E. European Model: Auditing Agency


Parliament the audit

Parliament & the Audit

Involvement in appointment?

Report to parliament? If so, to whom? Public accounts committee, or specialised committees?

Extensive treatment in parliament?


Holding the executive accountable

Holding the Executive Accountable

Why parliamentary oversight matters:

  • morale and motivation in the executive branch

  • confidence and legitimacy

  • policy learning and policy innovation

  • social consensus


Impotent parliaments no

Impotent parliaments? No!

  • Resource matters often decided outside the budgetary process.

  • The budget is mainly a summary of previous decisions.

  • Parliamentary discussions affect the parameters for governmental action

  • The power of questions


Questions on public expenditures

Questions on public expenditures

  • Questions on disbursements (regularity, legality, eligibility)

  • Questions on output (effectiveness, efficiency, economy)

  • Questions about outcomes and impact


Sources of information

Sources of information

  • Disbursements (regularity, legality, eligibility): AUDITS

  • Output (effectiveness, efficiency, economy): EVALUATION

  • Questions about outcomes and impact

    RESEARCH


Designing procedures for parliamentary scrutiny

Designing procedures for parliamentary scrutiny

  • Institutional issues: which committees are involved?

  • Informational issues: on which basis can parliaments raise questions about budgetary performance? Spoon-fed by government, or independent sources?

  • Procedural issues: how should the proceedings be organised to make an impact?


Institutional issues

Institutional issues

  • Annual discharge procedures?

  • Public accounts committees, or specialised committees?

  • Special rapporteurs?


Performance budgeting do parliaments care

Performance budgeting: do parliaments care?

  • “There is very little direct evidence that performance information in budgets and annual reports is directly used by members of parliament in their oversight”

    Miekatrien Sterck & Geert Bouckaert 2006


Analytical resources

Analytical resources

  • Scrutiny of government reports

  • Staff assistance (in parties, in committees, or in general parliamentary research services)

  • External resources (modalities for use, hearings, reports).


Formating parliamentary discussions

Formating parliamentary discussions

  • From agora to chamber to studio

  • The new parliamentary balcony is in the living-room

  • In an age of massive entertainment, will the audience stay tuned?


Setting the stage for parliamentary oversight

Setting the stage for parliamentary oversight

  • Architecture

  • Scenography

  • Dramaturgy


Parliamentary cooperation

Parliamentary cooperation

  • Inter-parliamentary Union

  • Parliamentary Assemblies

  • COSAC

  • Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments (ASGP)

  • International Political Science Association: research group on legislative studies


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