Budget and Finance Committee Chair: Parliamentary Budget Office Is Ineffective

The Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee of the Parliament, Irakli Kovzanadze, believes that the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) work is ineffective and it fails to perform its main function – assessment and analysis of the state budget.

Kovzanadze made the statement during the discussions on the Draft State Budget of Georgia 2018, held at the Plenary Session in Parliament two days ago.

“The Parliamentary Budget Office has to constantly provide MPs, committees and society with the results of its independent research and analysis. It should assess the draft budget, state of execution of the budget, fiscal measures initiated by the legislative authorities, present the analysis and assessments of the macroeconomic situation, the currency curriculum, etc.,” Kovzanadze stressed, adding the PBO fails to meet its main functions.

Kovzanadze stressed that the draft State Budget 2018 was heard by 15 Committees of Parliament in October. According to him, hearings of 14 out of 15 committees have been held without any input (background information and overview) from the PBO on the submitted Draft Budget, adding that neither the majority, nor minority of Parliament received any input from the PBO.

“It was only made available at the very last moment - 40 minutes prior to the concluding meeting of the Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament, thus leaving insufficient time for the adequate scrutiny of the information on the submitted Draft Budget,” said Kovzanadze.

The Committee chair also stated that the most recent information posted on the website of the PBO on the execution of the current budget dates back to Jan-Feb 2017, and there is no information on the annual execution of State Budget in 2016; Q1, Q2 and following months of 2017. 

“PBO is left without due attention. The current situation harms the budgetary process and makes it less transparent and public. It discredits the presence of the unit within the Parliament of Georgia,” Kovzanadze stressed.

By Thea Morrison

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