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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

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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