European Union financed Support to the National Assembly Project trains Members of Parliament on their role in the Budget Process

Second Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia Hon. Mwimba Malama, MP has urged Members of Parliament to utilise the services of the Parliamentary Budget Office which was created to assist them in their work with respect to economic and budgetary matters.

He said this when he officially opened the Public Financial Management Training Workshop for Members of Parliament that was held at Protea Hotel Safari Lodge, in Chisamba from 19th to 20th November, 2016.

The Hon. Deputy Speaker noted that one of the Strategic Objectives in the National Assembly of Zambia Strategic Plan is to enhance the budget oversight role of the Legislature and that the Institution was grateful for the support being rendered by the European Union in realising the objective.

The European Union financed Support to the National Assembly of Zambia Project organised the public financial management training workshop for four committees namely: Committee on Estimates; Committee on Economic Affairs, Energy and Labour, Public Accounts Committee; and Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs' Affairs, and selected members of staff.

The main objective of the training was to sensitise Members of Parliament on the role of Parliament in the budget process with a special focus on promoting accountability and transparency. The training was also aimed at providing impetus for a more content and evidence-based parliamentary debate throughout the budget cycle, ideally leading to better alignment between policy priorities and financial resources.

The discussions were centered around the following topics that were presented by various experts:

1.    The Meaning, Objectives and Content of Public Financial Management.

2.    Legislative and Regulatory Framework for Managing Public Finances.

3.    The Integrated, National Planning and Budgeting Framework.

4.    Key Players and their Roles and Responsibilities in Public Financial Management.

5.    Parliament's Role during the Budget Cycle.

6.    Checklist for Parliamentary Scrutiny of the Green Paper and Yellow Book.

7.    Post Budget Implementation Scrutiny.

The Support to the National Assembly Project intends to enhance economic governance in Zambia through improved public financial management, strengthened accountability processes and increased management for results.