Iraqi parliament set to strengthen its oversight of National Budget

Nov 16, 2014

The newly elected Iraqi parliament ©Council of Representatives/2014

UNDP organised a first workshop under its new support programme to the parliament funded by Sweden (Sida), to discuss the role of the Council of Representatives (CoR) in the preparation and oversight of the National Budget for Iraq.

UNDP parliament expert, Dr. Ahmed Al Jazouli, presented the role stipulated in the Iraqi Constitution, as well as the experiences of various parliaments around the world. The seminar was attended by 23 members of parliamentarian bodies, such as the Financial Committee, the Economic and Investment Committee, and other relevant offices.

The participants highlighted the importance of enhancing the capacity of parliament members to substantively contribute to the budget revision, and provide the oversight that is required to ensure that the National Budget is spent in line with the government's programme and according to the needs of Iraqi people.

The discussion also focused on the parliament's engagement with the civil society, to ensure a bottom up approach. The participants explored the role of the Governorate Councils and civil society organisations in facilitating community consultations and ensuring the inclusiveness of all Iraqi citizens in the National Budget process.

The workshop concluded with a recommendation to establish a Budget Directorate within in the parliament. A directorate will provide the necessary analysis and research to enable parliamentarians to review the budget in a transparent manner and to perform their oversight function in a more professional way.

The participants discussed the challenges faced by the Iraqi parliament. UNDP proposed different modalities and parliament's best practices in managing a National Budget.

This workshop will be followed by more advanced trainings based on the agreement recently signed between UNDP and the Iraqi parliament.

Finally, UNDP will also support the establishment a Budget Office for the Council of Representatives.

Contact

Nahid Hussein, Project Manager Rule of Law, Human Rights and Access to Justice
(m) +964 781 859 5630

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