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From linear to performance budgeting, the road towards better oversight.

On 20-21st of February 2014, more than 50 MPs, staff members and experts gathered in Tirana, Albania to share experiences and best practices in the field of parliamentary oversight over budgetary and financial decisions.

The participants coming from the parliaments of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo* and Serbia, had the opportunity to listen to a series of panel discussions with experts from the region and Scotland, on various aspects covering the budgetary cycle, and parliamentary oversight in particular.

As Mr Veroljub Arsic, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Serbia puts it: It’s obvious that the participation of the public in performing oversight on the adoption of the budget and the spending of public funds is a topic that has become increasingly popular since the start of the global economic crisis in 2008.

Most of the participants, current and former MPs, expressed the need to strengthen the parliaments’ role in overseeing budget drafting and spending of public funds. Mr Isakovic, Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, pointed out: We have spent a lot of time talking about expenditures, but it is equally important to discuss the revenues, especially when we consider the deficits that our countries face.”

During a panel on “Making the transition from line to programme budgeting”, experts, as well as former and current MPs, dwelled on the benefits of reforming the budgeting process. The experiences presented by various countries were further enriched by the presentation of Mr. Borce Trenovski: When discussing programed budgeting, we need to ask ourselves is it worth it? What is the cost?  What are the benefits? What are the main obstacles? The analysis made by the Centre for Economic Analysis answers some of these questions.

The conference was part of a series of events organized by the Network of Parliamentary Committees for Economy, Finance and European Integration, funded by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. 

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