National Parliament to receive independent analysis of the 2019 National Budget

Nov 14, 2018

Chair of the National Plans and Estimate Committee, Hon Lekua Gure and Plans & Estimate Committee Members with UNDP budget analysis team.

Port Moresby, 14 November 2018 – With the tabling of the National Budget in the Parliament this week, a team of analysts are currently in Port Moresby to support the Plans and Estimates Committee of the National Parliament  provide an independent analysis of the 2019 Budget to members of parliament.

“I welcome the team here as this is the first time that the National Parliament of PNG, will provide an independent analysis of National Budget for the MPs” said the Clerk of the National Parliament, Mr. Vela Konivaro.

“In other well-established parliaments globally, the parliament, or an independent fiscal institution provides such service to its members. The purpose of the analysis is to better inform the quality of economic debate and contribute to financial scrutiny in the Parliament and the wider community.”

The analysts are members of the innovative UNDP ‘Floating Budget Analysis Team’ which include seven researchers from the Parliaments of Fiji, New South Wales and Queensland State Parliaments, the National Assembly of Wales, the Tonga Legislative Assembly and the Australian Parliament Budget Office. The team is also supported by technical support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The international researchers are working alongside PNG parliament committee and researcher staff to provide an independent analysis of the National Budget for all Members of Parliament on the state of the nation’s finances, government estimates and trends in the national economy.

The purpose of the innovative Floating Budget Analysis Office model is to provide independent, objective, non-partisan analysis of the National Budget to Parliament. The results of the analysis are then synthesized into a set of Budget Briefing papers shared with all MPs highlighting key trends in the PNG budget and economy.

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Papua New Guinea, Ms Tracy Vienings said of the support: “The Budget Brief papers are aimed to increase the Members understanding of the national budget and have informed debates on it.”

“The Budget is the most important economic policy tool of the Government and provides a comprehensive statement of the nation’s priorities. As the representative of the people, Parliament is the appropriate place to ensure that the Budget best matches the nation’s needs with available resources. This year alone, UNDP has supported or will support the Parliaments of Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Tonga to undertake an independent analysis of their respective National Budgets.”

He added, “In partnership with the National Parliament, UNDP and the National Parliament of PNG will host a briefing session for Members of Parliament who sit in the Plans and Estimates Committee and Public Accounts Committee on the 2019 National Budget. At the Briefing session, the Budget Briefs produced by the “Floating Budget Analysis Office” will be shared and discussed.”

It is expected that the Reply to the Budget will take place on Tuesday 20 November .

UNDP’s support to the PNG Parliament to promote budget transparency and accountability is part of a programme of support by the Pacific Parliamentary Effectiveness Initiative (PPEI) implemented by the UNDP Pacific Office with funding support from the Government of New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). The budget analysis work is led by the Plans and Estimates Committee of the National Parliament chaired by Hon. Lekwa Gure.

The UNDP PPEI is a three-year programme implemented in support to the Parliaments of Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu, focusing on several areas including improving procedures and processes in Parliament and building the capacity of Members of Parliaments and Secretariat staff.

Contact information

Jone Tuiipelehaki Raqauqau, Communications Associate – Effective Governance Team, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji. E: jone.raqauqau@undp.org, T: (679) 3227 552

Serahphina Aupong, UNDP PNG Communications Officer, serahphina.aupong@undp.org, (675) 7374 8724     

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