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The Committee Secretariat together with the Office of the Auditor General has formed a Budget Team as part of its preparatory work to consider the upcoming 2018 Draft Estimates and those that will come in the future.

This is a new initiative as the Committee Secretariat Team felt that it’s time to add some new ideas to effectively carry out the legislative scrutiny role beginning With the upcoming hearings on the 2018 Budget estimates.

This team consisted of staff from the Committee Secretariat, the Research & Library staff, the Accounts Department of the National Parliament Office and Officers from the Auditor General’s office.

In welcoming the training participants, clerk to the Public Accounts Committee, Mrs. Jasmine Waleafea mentioned that the Committee’s working theme for this year is to “Be Proactive” in our given roles.

She said that much have been discussed on the issues of “committee effectiveness and efficiency” in holding the executive to account, but disseminating it is often a challenging task.

During the training, participants endorsed a briefing template for PAC Members as well as citing the proposed Budget Briefing Paper on the budget; which awaits technical support from Fiji, New Zealand and the Scotland Parliament.

The team from Fiji, New South Wales and New Zealand Parliaments are expected to arrive in a few weeks’ time.

Other sessions included identifying issues from the budget, developing questions, managing the Inquiry and concluded with a rapporteur exercise on an assimilative PAC Hearing footage.

With the initiatives that the Parliamentary Budget Team wishes to roll out with this year’s Appropriation Bill, stakeholders would note that the Committee is chartering new waters in their given role to fulfil legislative financial scrutiny.

The PAC clerk concluded that the Committee is hoping to ensure an effective financial oversight on the 2018 Draft Estimates as well as to delivering on an efficient secretarial support in this upcoming inquiry.

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