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Topic: Parliament

World Bank Institute’s Parliamentary Strengthening Program (267 kb pdf) aims to enhance parliaments’ capacity to effectively fulfill their responsibilities, especially with regard to government policy implementation and budget oversight. Parliaments can contribute to good governance by:

Expanding their oversight role throughout the budget cycle. Parliaments approve the annual budget and oversee government spending. Through these ex-ante and expost budget reviews, they hold the Executive accountable for the use of public funds. This role can be accomplished through the work of parliamentary committees or through individual MPs. Involving parliament more in the budget cycle can create a greater sense of pubic ownership in economic strategies, realign government priorities and help fight corruption.

Ensuring greater transparency in decision-making. Whether it is committees questioning senior policy makers or parliamentarians putting issues before government in Question Period, parliament has the power and responsibility to question how and when government decisions are made, thereby ensuring greater deliberation, debate and ultimately greater transparency of the policy making process.

Reviewing, proposing and enacting legislation that is necessary to support reform and development. Legislative scrutiny of bills and deliberation by committees – especially where committees engage in public consultation – provide a counterbalance to the Executive. This not only reinforces greater accountability and transparency, but also enables legislation to be more reflective of society’s interests as a whole, rather than the interests of the governing party.

Establishing wider linkages with other parliaments to share information and learn from the experiences of more developed legislatures. Such links can be particularly helpful on a regional basis, where similarities in basic conditions make the exchange of different approaches especially insightful for mutual learning.

Please click here  if you have any questions or comments about the Program

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