MPs welcome K70 million allocation for Parliamentary Budget Office
Members of Parliament (MPs) under the Budget and Finance Committee have welcomed the government’s decision to allocate K70 million in the 2018/19 national budget for the establishment of a Parliamentary Budget Office.
Committee Chairperson, Rhino Chiphiko, said the office will enhance transparency and accountability and improve the quality of debate in the National Assembly.
Chiphiko was speaking in Lilongwe on Wednesday night during a consultative dinner Action Aid Malawi organised for lawmakers.
“Parliamentary Budget Office is a unit within Parliament which provides information, data and statistics to the Members of Parliament so that, when they are deliberating on the floor, they should know what they are talking about. They should have evidence. In most cases, what
MPs talk about are allegations because they don’t have evidence. What is happening currently is that members depend on newspapers as their source of information, data and statistics,” he said.
Chiphiko said the Parliamentary Budget Office will run as an independent unit whose major tasks will include conducting in-depth research and providing evidence to MPs as well as government as a whole.
Action Aid Malawi Head of Programmes and Policy, Peter Pangani, said the absence of the office is depriving Malawians of their right to hold their MPs and government accountable.
Pangani further said this has compromised the quality of services the National Assembly renders to the nation as most of the debates in Parliament lack basis and do not reflect the wishes and inspirations of the people at the grass roots.
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