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Members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) together with the Public Expenditures Committee (PEC) have completed a half day workshop on understanding the role of the Budget Unit within the budgetary processes of each financial year on Monday 17th October 2016.

The workshop which is called, “Supporting PAC & PEC Workshop “is a capacity building initiative by the Committee four years ago to look into relevant financial units within the governing system, informing the Committee on their roles.

In his opening remarks, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Hon. Rick Houenipwela re-emphasizes on the critical financial oversight roles of PAC and PEC in the Parliamentary System.

“As part of Parliament’s oversight role, financial scrutiny of the Executive is fundamental, and an important function of the Parliament. In so doing, Parliament must ensure effective and efficient financial scrutiny is employed, and that the integrity of the process is protected”, Hon. Hou said.

He further expresses that within the Committee’s mandates, financial scrutiny role should ensure “Special emphasis is placed over financial scrutiny in pursuance of a number of important outcomes such as:

  1. Effective financial scrutiny paves the way for good governance, which is in the national interest;
  2. Effective financial scrutiny promotes and enhances accountability and transparency; and
  3. Effective financial scrutiny provides relevant edifications to the Public Finance Management of this country; and this is where the PAC and the PEC are most important!”

“In light of Public Financial Management Act 2013, it is paramount that, to ensure parliamentary Committees are well informed and competent to carry out their functions effectively. Also, members must be familiar with the subject matter”, Hon Hou mentioned when he thank the Clerk to the National Parliament, Mr Rore for the support towards the 10 Standing Committees of Parliament.

The Facilitators from the Budget Unit have also mentioned their gratitude for the insights they have received during open discussions with the Members.

“The workshop has enable us all to be on the same page. It provides insights on areas we can improve on and reinforces the need to fill in on some of the crucial gaps on the budgetary preparation itself with in the legislative process” Deputy Director of Budget Unit, Mr. Coswal Nelson said.

In closing, the Chairman of the Public Expenditures Committee, Hon. Ismael Avui assures that his Committee has been enlightened and with the PAC his committee will surely pursue the important mandates of the PEC.

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