Enhancing Parliament’s Oversight Role
Enhancing Parliament’s Oversight Role through: (a) the design of a Management Accountability Framework for the Houses of Parliament; (b) design and establishment of a Technical Office for fiscal and budget analysis; and (c) training for the Members of Parliaments in relation to macro-fiscal management, public finances and fiscal responsibility. Legislative oversight of public finances and scrutiny of the budget process is limited due to capacity constraints. Neither Parliament nor its Committees have the necessary technical support to undertake a thorough and meaningful review. To fulfil its constitutional oversight role of public finances, Parliament requires in-house capacity to analyze the budget and audit documents. To address this gap, a recent assessment recommends: establishing a technical unit headed by a Technical Officer, enhancing Parliament’s research and ICT capacity, and training its members with respect to oversight of public finances and review of the performance of the GOJ, in particular the members of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee, whose role is to scrutinize the budget execution, and the Public Accounts Committee, whose role is to review the Auditor General’s Annual Report and the audited financial statements. These deficiencies in control systems and accountability mechanisms explain in part the low score (D+) received by Jamaica in the 2012 PEFA performance indicators (PI) on the effectiveness of payroll control (PI-18), effectiveness of internal controls for non-salary expenditure (PI-20), the effectiveness of internal audit (PI-21); and the legislative scrutiny of the annual budget law (PI-27); as well as in competition, value for money and controls in procurement (PI-19) (C).