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Country Learning Note: the Parliamentary Budget Office

  • Uganda’s Parliamentary Budget Office plays an important role in supporting parliamentarians to scrutinise the national budget. It is one of only a few such institutions in Africa.
  • The Parliamentary Budget Office provides quarterly reports on the economy and detailed sectoral analysis of the national budget for the parliamentary committees. It also provides ad hoc advice on budget, fiscal and economic policy.
  • Much of the Parliamentary Budget Office’s work takes place during the budget preparation and appropriation period (April to August), when it reviews the Budget Framework Paper, detailed budget estimates and Ministerial Policy Statements. On the basis of its findings, it advises Parliament on budgetary issues and makes key recommendations for the Executive.
  • Setting up the Parliamentary Budget Office under the 2001 Budget Act was not an easy task, because of political resistance at the time to any strengthening of Parliament. It was eventually established following significant pressure from parliamentarians.
  • Although the Parliamentary Budget Office has proved valuable in demystifying the budget process for Parliament, it faces a number of operational and institutional challenges. These need to be overcome, in order to strengthen its role and improve the quality of parliamentary scrutiny of the budget.

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Friday, July 26, 2013