An official in the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) of the Parliament of Uganda has stressed the need to have a legislation establishing the office which is in line with the public finance management regulations.
The acting director of the Ugandan PBO, Moses Bisase Tusuubira, said while the office was crucial to ensuring accountability in the budget process, it could not be facilitated without a law.
Bisase was addressing a delegation from Malawi on Monday comprising Parliament, Office of the President and Cabinet, Department of Human Resource Management as well as ActionAid Malawi officials on a study visit to the Ugandan Parliament on establishing a PBO.
“The success of a PBO rests in that it should be created by legislation, without that when a PBO is introduced people feel it is disruptive of the normal budget formulation process,” he said.
The first chairperson of the Budget Committee after Budget Act was passed, Beatrice Kiraso, on Tuesday expressed surprise that the Malawi delegation comprised government officials.
“Setting up the PBO met with resistance here in Uganda but the Malawi team must realise that once set up, the office will be for Parliament not Executive and there will be a fight, the government will attempt to retain power,“ said Kiraso, who is a former deputy director general of the East African Community and previously worked with United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca).
She observed that if Malawi had a PBO, cashgate, tractorgate and maizegate would not have happened because Parliament would have participated early.
Uganda was the first African country to have a PBO followed by South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe and recently Nigeria. n