KAMPALA – The Parliamentary Budget Committee has called on the Executive to provide Parliament with Shs10b for trips abroad after the budget proposal was rejected by the Ministry of Finance for the 2020/2021 national budget.
The Committee made the call it the report on the 2020/2021 national budget framework paper that was passed by Parliament after Parliament Commission revealed that expenses for delegations to various Parliamentary associations remain as a funding gap for Parliament.
In its report to Parliament that was later adopted by MPs, the Committee highlighted; “The Committee recommends that the Government should provide additional Shs10.962Bn on the recurrent budget for parliament’s engagement with the international community.
The Parliament Commission while appearing before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee also revealed that the Legislature heavily relies on its recurrent budget to fulfill its oversight role, but the budget for the expenditure was reduced.
The Commission revealed that during the FY 2017/18 MPs and Staff travel allowances were increased and a number of oversight activities were not undertaken. However, during the FY 2020/2021, the non-wage recurrent budget is projected to reduce from Shs535.155b to Shs515.155b.
The additional requirement of Shs18.422b is required for committees to undertake their respective oversight roles during FY2020/2021.
As such, the Budget Committee recommended an additional Shs18.422b be provided to Parliamentary Committees to undertake Parliamentary oversight and legislative roles efficiently and effectively.
The Budget Committee also called on the Ministry of Finance to give Parliament an additional Shs18.357b be provided in FY2020/2021 to enhance their capacity to efficiently and effectively fulfill their respective mandates.
The Committee defended the position arguing that departments of Parliament receive the least budgets despite their mandate of providing technical support to committees and Parliament as a whole.
MPs on Budget Committee added that these departments require additional funds for capacity building to serve the increasing number of Members of Parliament; funds to undertake studies to enable Parliament make informed decisions and benchmark to obtain best practices.
The MPs also approved a proposal by the Budget Committee for the Ministry of Finance to provide Parliament Commission with Shs1.758b for additional contributions to the East African Legislative Assembly.