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LEGISLATIVE-EXECUTIVE RELATIONS. Rick Stapenhurst World Bank Institute . OVERVIEW OF PRESENTATION. Core Functions of Legislatures Types of Legislative Systems – and Ways in Which Legislatures Hold the Executive to Account The Budget Cycle + The Legislature (Ex-Ante)

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LEGISLATIVE-EXECUTIVE RELATIONS

Rick Stapenhurst

World Bank Institute


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OVERVIEW OF PRESENTATION

  • Core Functions of Legislatures

  • Types of Legislative Systems – and Ways in Which Legislatures Hold the Executive to Account

  • The Budget Cycle + The Legislature (Ex-Ante)

  • The Budget Cycle + The Legislature (Ex-Post)

  • Conclusions


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Reminder : Core Functions of Legislatures

  • The Legislative Function

  • Passing Laws

  • Participation in Public Policy Making

  • The Oversight Function

  • Holding Governments to Account

  • The Representative Function

  • Representing Constituents


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Types of Legislative System

  • Parliamentary System

  • Executive “in the Legislature”

  • Semi-Presidential System

  • Presidential System

  • Executive separate from thed Legislature



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Oversight : The Budget Process Process

  • “The development, deliberation and passage of a budget with both legislative and executive participation represents one of the vital checks and balances of democracy”

  • Budget development is typically the domain of the executive branch.

  • However, in most countries the legislature exerts often considerable influence over the budget through the amendment process.

  • Proactive budget committees can seek public input into the budget planning cycle

  • Public Accounts and other oversight committees, often chaired by a member of the opposition, oversee the integrity, economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of government financial management


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Oversight : The Budget Process Process

“The development, deliberation and passage of a budget with both legislative and executive participation represents one of the vital checks and balances of democracy”

  • Budget development is typically the domain of the executive branch.

  • However, in most countries the legislature exerts often considerable influence over the budget through the amendment process.

  • Proactive budget committees can seek public input into the budget planning cycle

  • Public Accounts and other oversight committees, often chaired by a member of the opposition, oversee the integrity, economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of government financial management


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The Budget : Amendment powers: a survey Process(from Krafchik + Wehner)


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Case Study : Parliamentary Oversight (Commonwealth Countries)

  • 54 countries in the Commonwealth

  • “Old” Commonwealth (UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) + the New

  • The “Large” (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) + the “Small” (Caribbean, Pacific Islands)


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Conceptual Approach: Countries)Key Actors and their Relationships

PUBLIC FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY

Parliament

Accountability

Relationship

Reports

Public

Auditor General

Executive

Examines


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Conceptual Approach…cont. : Fiduciary Obligations ExplainedParliament, PAC and public audit

  • Parliament holds ‘power of the purse’ and obligation to hold the Executive to account

  • Public Accounts Committees oversee use of public funds & resources by Executive

  • Do this by examining public accounts


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Conceptual Approach…cont. : Fiduciary Obligations ExplainedMandates of PACs:

  • PAC mandate determined by Rules/ SOs, some case by Constitution

  • Narrow Focus - financial probity and regularity

  • Wider Focus - value for money, perf. audits, program effectiveness

  • Other matters can be referred to PAC


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Conceptual Approach…cont. : Fiduciary Obligations ExplainedPAC and the Auditor General

  • PAC work often determined by the AG reports

  • PAC must decide follow-up issues

  • An effective PAC = depts. taking AG concerns more seriously

  • Cooperation with AG on follow-up = greater accountability

  • Ensures Depts. are taking corrective action


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Current Situation in the Commonwealth ( ExplainedRecent Empirical Work):

  • Recent CPA study on PACs – The Overseers

  • - similar issues, developments and challenges across Commonwealth

  • Key issues : Status of PAC, Relations with the AG, Membership, Training/ Capacity-Building, Resources, Working Practices, Reporting and Follow-up


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Average size = 11 MPs Explained

Size reflects party in legislature.

2/3 of Chairs from an opposition party; and 1/3 from the governing party

Prime focus on Public Accounts & reports of AG.

PAC reports generally available to the public.

Generally, PAC hearings are open to the public and media.

Current Situation in the Commonwealth: Common Features:


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A broad scope Explained

Power to select issues w/o gov’t direction

Power to report, suggest improvements, and follow-up

Strong support from AG, MPs and research staff that creates a unity of purpose about PAC work.

* Based on recent World Bank survey

Current Situation in the Commonwealth: Success Factors*


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Current Situation in the Commonwealth: ExplainedCommon Challenges:

  • Highly partisan climate

  • Government dislike of legislative oversight

  • Lack of media or public involvement

  • Lack of a strong ethical base for public service


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Conclusions: Explained

  • The legislature is a key player in promoting good governance

  • Input into, and passes legislation

  • Input into and oversees the budget process

  • Holds government to account

  • Provides a voice to citizens at the highest level of the state

  • But…..