Description : This paper examines the role of the legislature in budget processes. The paper highlights that for promoting good governance and fiscal transparency, the legislature’s active engagement in the budget process is essential. When fiscal policies and medium-term budgetary objectives are debated in parliament, budget strategies and policies are “owned” more widely. However, more active participation by the legislature runs the risk that fiscal discipline deteriorates. In countries where the legislature has unrestrained budget amendment authority, parliament is prone to introduce changes that increase spending or reduce taxes.
Description : Performance based oversight and accountability can serve as an important antidote to government corruption, inefficiency, and waste. This volume provides an analytical framework and operational approaches needed for the implementation of results-based accountability. The volume makes a major contribution to the literature on public management and evaluation. Major subject areas covered in this book include: performance based accountability, e-government, network solutions to performance measurement and improvement; institutions of accountability in governance; legal and institutional framework to hold government to account; fighting corruption; external accountability; ensuring integrity of revenue administration; the role of supreme audit institutions on detecting fraud and corruption; and the role of parliamentary budget offices and public accounts committees.
Description : What is the role of legislatures in the budget process? Do powerful assemblies give rise to pro-spending bias? This survey of legislative budgeting tackles these questions using cross-national data and case studies. It highlights the tension between legislative authority and prudent fiscal policy, exploring strategies for reconciliation.
Description : Effective and transparent government budgeting is vital to any democracy In South Africa, massive poverty, inequality and unemployment remain, despite the successful political transformation, citizens and Parliament have a particularly important role to play in shaping budget policy and overseeing its implementation South Africa reached a crossroads in fiscal governance when it passed the Money Bills Amendment Act in 2009, a law which granted Parliament strong powers to amend the budget prepared by the executive This publication explores the content of the new law as well as the challenges and opportunities arising from it. It also discusses the role of Parliament in ensuring pro-poor budgeting Good fiscal governance is too important for the wellbeing of South Africans to not be a part of our public conversations.
Description : Budgeting is a central activity in state government, and annual or biennial appropriations are the most important recurring decisions made by state legislatures. Gubernatorial recommendations reflect state agency program needs and portray the policy priorities of the chief executive. Legislative appropriations determine which agency programs, gubernatorial policy initiatives and legislative constituencies receive financial support. Budget execution decisions by state agencies determine how the policy decisions of the governor and legislature are actually implemented. In short, state budgeting determines how much money will be available for state spending, which policies will be initiated and implemented, and whose social and political values will prevail in state governance.
Description : In most countries, parliament has the constitutional mandate to both oversee government and to hold government to account; often, audit institutions, ombuds and anti-corruption agencies report to parliament, as a means of ensuring both their independence from government and reinforcing parliament's position at the apex of accountability institutions. At the same time, parliaments can also play a key role in promoting accountability, through constituency outreach, public hearings, and parliamentary commissions. This title will be of interest to parliamentarians and parliamentary staff, development practitioners, students of development and those interested in curbing corruption and improving governance in developing and developed countries alike.
Description : This paper discusses the need for reforming budget system laws (BSLs). The outcomes of the budget process depend heavily on whether there are clear rules for formulating, executing, and reporting on the annual budget, as well as a clear statement of medium-term fiscal policy objectives. These rules are usually specified in a BSL. This paper analyzes the relationship between the BSL, the constitution, and the wider legal framework. It also discusses how a BSL should be adapted to a country’s political arrangements.
Description : In most countries, parliament has the constitutional mandate to both oversee and hold government to account. In light of the increased focus on good governance, academics and legislative strengthening practitioners are re-examining parliament's oversight function with a view to increasing public financial accountability, curbing corruption, and contributing to poverty reduction. This volume brings together research from many different perspectives and many different legislative settings worldwide. As the country case studies in section III demonstrate, the accountability mechanisms or oversight tools available to the legislature vary based on constitutionally defined powers of the legislature, institutional arrangements between the branches of government, divisions of authority between national, regional, and local governments, the degree of legitimacy conferred on the legislature, and the resources available to it. The budget process provides critical opportunities. Section II of this volume is devoted to examining budget oversight from the formulation and approval of the budget, to implementation and the ex post examination of the public accounts. Special attention is also paid to mechanisms to assist parliaments such as Public Accounts Committees and independent parliamentary budget offices. This title will be of interest to parliamentarians and parliamentary staff, legislative strengthening practitioners, and students of legislative development.
Description : Legislatures are political bodies essential to democracy and the rule of law. They present social scientists with numerous intriguing puzzles, with far-reaching implications for our understanding of political institutions. Why, and how, have these ancient assemblies, established in pre-democratic times, survived the transition to mass democracies? How have they adapted? How do they structure such processes as budgeting, legislation, and executive oversight? How do their members get selected, and what consequences flow from differences in these rules? What roles do committees and political parties play in contemporary legislatures? What functions do legislatures perform in autocratic, semi-democratic or recently democratized societies? What explains the similarities and differences in legislative rules, powers and recruitment? What are the policy and other consequences of variation in how legislatures are organized and function? The 33 chapters in The Oxford Handbook of Legislative Studies, written by 47 of the most distinguished legislative scholars, provide a comprehensive and up-to-date description and assessment of the state of the art in legislative studies. Key themes explored include theoretical paradigms and methodological approaches to the study of legislatures, representation and legislative careers, internal organization, the role of parties within legislatures and the role of legislatures in policy making and accountability. The Handbook also explores the emergence of parliaments in historical and contemporary contexts, including new democracies and trans-national institutions.