Indicator: 1.8 Budget

Annual budget legislation, and any associated legislation related to government revenue-raising and expenditure, are among the most important pieces of legislation considered by parliament. In democratic systems, parliament plays a key role in approving and overseeing the raising and spending of public funds on behalf of citizens. Whereas revenue-raising is usually considered a part of the normal law-making process, the spending of funds constitutes a special function, and many parliaments therefore have separate finance (raising) and budget (spending) committees.

This indicator concerns parliament’s role at all stages of the annual budget cycle. The first broad phase of this cycle, known as “ex-ante review”, involves the formulation and examination of the draft budget, the proposal of amendments by MPs, and the approval of the budget. The second phase, known as “ex-post review”, comprises the oversight of budget execution after the budget has been passed.

A specialized parliamentary body, such as the Public Public All the members of a community in general, regardless of their citizenship status. Accounts Committee Committee See:  Parliamentary committee Parliamentary committee A body comprised of MPs who are appointed, on either a temporary or a permanent basis, to debate or closely examine matters closely related to specific policies, issues or circumstances, in line with the committee’s scope of work. The theme, structure and nature of parliamentary committees are established by a chamber’s rules of procedure. Depending on the these rules, the composition of a committee may reflect that of the whole parliament or include diverse party representation. In some parliaments, the term “commission” is used instead of, or interchangeably with, “committee”. . (PAC), as well as other committees and the supreme audit institution, typically play a significant role in this scrutiny process.

As budgetary knowledge and scrutiny are specialized areas, this indicator also concerns the expert support available to parliament to help it fulfil its role. 

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