House Speaker J. Alex Tyler has admitted to failure on the part of lawmakers in providing adequate and informed decisions during the preparation of the national budget.
Speaker Tyler described their low performance in the budgetary preparation as “weakness that must be strengthened.”
He was quick to shift blame to the many constituencies and other legislative engagements of individual lawmakers; a situation he said is responsible for members of the House of Representatives being ineffective in the discharge of their oversight responsibility while the Executive is formulating and discussing the country’s budget.
He stressed the importance of legislature’s close involvement in any budget negotiation process at the Capitol Building, saying; “We as lawmakers need to be involved.”
The Bomi County lawmaker made the assertion on Monday, March 3, when he served as keynote speaker at the Legislative Budget Office (LBO) In-house capacity building workshop held in the Joint Chamber of the Capitol Building.
He reemphasized that the budgetary oversight of the National Legislature rests squarely on the effectiveness of the LBO.
Speaker Tyler said the LBO is important to the Legislature especially to the Committees on Ways, Means and Finance and Public Account and Expenditure on the proper understanding of the entire budgetary process.
The ruling party official stressed the significance of capacity building, noting; “It enhances the technical knowhow on budget preparation and ensures that members of the legislature have a clear understanding on the hearings and passage of the budget.”
The Bomi County Lawmaker admonished staff of the LBO to make use of the capacity training because they are pivotal when it comes to informed decisions relating to the oversight responsibility of the national budget.
He also called on LBO Director, Julius Caesar, to extend similar capacity sessions to members of the Legislature; a move he said is necessary to strengthen the work of relevant committees engaged in these areas.
Also making remarks, the Chairman of the Joint Public Accounts Committee, Senator Edward Dagoseh encouraged the Legislature to see the LBO as its own project and ensure that the office receives the necessary support.
He said when the human mind is developed; productivity provides the tools to work with.
The Director of the LBO, Dr. Julius Caesar, welcomed Speaker Tyler’s request to conduct similar workshop for legislators and called on members of the Legislature to provide all necessary support to ensure that the capacity of the LBO is fully enhanced.
Director Caesar revealed the LBO has the expertise and technical ability to perform its functions and wants the Legislature to provide the environment to execute its tasks.
The budget office was established through an Act of Legislature in September 2010 and became operational in May 2011.
The Act requires the LBO to provide objective, impartial, and nonpartisan analyses of the National Budget, fund fiscal operation of Central Government to the Joint Committee on Ways, Means and Finance and Budget of the Legislature.
It is also an integral part of the National Public Financial Management Reform effort or IPFMRP.
The five days LBO In-house Workshop for Budget Analysts is supported by OSIWA under the theme: “Strengthening Legislative Oversight through Transparency and Accountability.
The intent is to ensure that the LBO functions properly in an effort to adequately assist lawmakers on the budget.