Sierra Leone: Parliament Urged to Assess Integrity of Budget Execution

Consultant of the Public Financial Management Improvement and Consolidation project in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has urged parliament to not only approve budget, but also assess the integrity of budget execution through involvement in the audit process.

Peter Kaindaneh was speaking during a one -day workshop organized for members of the Oversight Committee on Transparency and Accountability on transparency and accountability.

He said members of parliament should build effective partnership with the country's Supreme Audit Institution- Audit Service Sierra Leone.

According to him, MPs are responsible for ensuring accountability and openness of government through oversight activities of the executive and its auxiliary bodies in order to curb corruption and effect good practices.

He added that they also have the mandate to scrutinize the utilization of public finances and ensure financial accountability.

"The concept of parliamentary accountability is based on the premise that parliament, as the highest representative organ of government, has the duty to check on the activities of the executive through a number of measures. The mechanisms employed to achieve that, has in modern literature, been referred to as parliamentary accountability," he said.

He noted that poor governance cultivates poverty and inequality, whereas good governance refers to the sound and competent management of a country's resources and affairs.

Earlier in his opening address, Chairman of the committee, Hon. Claude Kamanda said the committee was one of the cornerstones of the three parliamentary accountability committees in parliament, adding that through it oversight activities, the executive was sometimes held accountability for its actions and ensures that policies were implemented in accordance with the laws and budget passed by the house.

He said the objective of the project components was to strengthen the financial control in government, improve accountability systems and practices and enhance independent and public oversight in the management and use of public finance in Sierra Leone.

"It is therefore imperative for committee members and their staff to have the capacity needed to access, appraise and utilize evidence from government ministries and other organizations. There is need to provide additional training for committee members to be equipped in under taking oversight and scrutinizing PFM operations of MDAs and local councils using the transparency and accountability lens," he stated.

Hon Kamanda maintained that the training would equip committee members with modern techniques in performing their oversight functions for improving transparency and accountability in public finance management, as well as contributing to the achievement of effective and efficient in the work of transparency and accountability of government institutions.

Source: Concord Times.

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