Mozambique: Pro PALOP TL SAI supports the establishment of an independent financial and budget oversight unit

AGORA member's picture

In the context of the economic situation in Mozambique, guaranteeing the parliament is equipped with the necessary tools and expertise to oversee public expenditure is one of the government’s priorities.

Due to the increasing amount of work of the Budgetary Control Committee has led the Committee and the National Assembly to agree in the establishment of an independent financial and budgetary oversight unit. The unit will support specialized committees dealing with economic, financial and budgetary affairs. This initiative counts with the support and partnership of international partners, namely UNDP led project Pro PALOP-TL SAI, UNICEF and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD).

The process of creation of the independent financial and budget oversight unit started after a governmental evaluation of the performance of the public financial management system, which shed a light on the need to strengthen the role of the parliament in the management of public expenditure management.

Support of the PRO PALOP TL SAI project: technical advice in key meetings and working groups

A senior budget specialist seconded by the Pro PALOP-TL SAI project has provided technical assistance to establish the financial and budgetary oversight unit. Indeed, the senior specialist has participated in meetings with all international cooperation partners and with parliamentarians. The initial meetings have led to conclude the unit should not only support Budgetary Control Committee, but also provide technical support directly to the National Assembly.

It was agreed that the unit must count with qualified, experienced experts on budgetary affairs, capable of answering to the requests of staff in line in parliaments. An important component discussed was that these specialists should be able to work independently to provide accurate budgetary counsel.

In order to elaborate a conceptual framework to guide in the implementation of the unit, it was decided a working group composed of parliamentarians from different specialized committees and UNICEF representatives. The budget specialist seconded by Pro PALOP TL SAI had a preponderant role in the working group by providing technical support in the elaboration of the conceptual framework. The conceptual framework was presented to the Budgetary Control Committee and other specialized committees and discussions are underway for its validation.

The establishment of the unit is still in its preliminary phase, however, there are positive outcomes worth mentioning, namely the involvement of the National Assembly and specialized committees in the whole process of creation of the financial and budgetary unit. It is also important to stress the reach of consensus of all partners involved on the importance of this project to guarantee budget transparency in public expenditure, in Mozambique. The cooperation among specialized committees in the parliament allowed to streamline a more efficient way for the committees to further collaborate in budgetary affairs in the future.