Parliament must be able to amend budgets
Last week I completed my article with the contention that the budget cannot be properly scrutinized by the Committee of Supply of our National Assembly. This conclusion resulted from technical/managerial concerns, and would be valid regardless of what political conditions exist, for it has long been noted that in cases such as Guyana: “Where the parliamentary committee stage is less dominant than the debate on the floor of the House, substantial amendments are unlikely.” (Krafchik, Warren and Joachim Wehner – 1999 – “The role of parliament in the budget process,” Institute for Democracy in South Africa: Budget information service).
Internationally, budgeting practice varies widely and many historical, political and social factors influence the role of parliament in the budgetary process, including the ethnic composition and level of political development of the country; the nature, organisation and role of political parties; the way consensus is arrived at in the political system; the nature of and composition of the legislative system; the information asymmetries between members of the legislature and the government and the administration and facilities available to the parliament.
Constitutional reform, which must result from a dialectical relationship between our specific condition and international best practice, is on the agenda of the present parliament and rather than …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.