Westminster Foundation for Democracy is working to strengthen MPs’ ability to conduct financial oversight in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada.

By strengthening the parliament’s ability to examine where taxpayers’ money is going – WFD will contributes to the re-establishment of effective governance following the collapse of the Yanukovych presidency in early 2014.

Since then the Verkhovna Rada’s ability to scrutinize legislation has been impacted by ongoing political uncertainty and the illegal annexation of Crimea. The new government has been focused on ongoing fighting in the south-east, EU accession and dealing with the economic crisis. A number of macroeconomic reforms have helped stabilize the economy, but more challenging restructuring lies ahead. Major reforms are needed to meet EU standards on issues ranging from the use of natural resources to strengthening regional cooperation.

WFD, partnered with GIZ, is providing Ukrainian MPs with the fundamental support they need to oversee this work. Our joint programme seeks to establish a Financial and Economic Analysis Office in the Verkhovna Rada. We draw on expertise from across the UK’s political institutions to offer best practice on how to support parliamentarians with economic research and analysis of complex financial information. By establishing links between the Office and the World Bank’s Global Network of Parliamentary Budget Offices and the OSCE Parliamentary Budget Office Network the office has access to the most up-to-date practices and tools for financial scrutiny. This will go a long way in developing the next generation of parliamentary financial experts, ensuring the sustainability of the office.

Our current work builds on the support WFD’s The Westminster Consortium (TWC) offered to the Verkhovna Rada’s Budget Committee from 2009 to 2013. TWC financial oversight training and thematic networking program capacitated the staff to better perform budgetary and expenditure oversight and to keep up with the challenges of financial crisis, monitory policy, currency regulation and global recession. Mid-term budgeting and performance program budgeting that have been trained as new approaches/methods these days are instrumental in strengthening financial oversight.

A parliament’s ability to scrutinise where citizen’s money is going is a step in the right direction for oversight and transparency, something WFD and the parliament of the Ukraine remain committed to make sure the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine are a capable, accountable and responsive institution with regard to financial oversight and scrutiny provides for perspectives of economic sustainability, development and growth.

Featured image – flickr – chris price