Being clear about how government allocates money to be spent – and on what – is one of the key aspects of modern democratic governance.
Experience suggests that the best way to effectively manage public money is through having budgeting systems that are transparent, open to public involvement, and well-supervised by independent institutions. Empirical evidence also shows that the lower the transparency of budget-setting processes, the higher the levels of corruption.
Since February 2018, WFD has been supporting the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia to set up a parliamentary budget office (PBO) in order to support more efficient and effective spending of citizens’ money through better oversight.
On 5 February, 2019, the PBO was officially opened at an inauguration ceremony in Skopje, the North Macedonian Capital.
The Parliamentary Budget Office will help members of the North Macedonian Assembly to check up on how the government is spending money, how much money it is spending, and what it is spending it on.
The experts employed in the PBO will provide expert financial and budget analysis for MPs. For example, they will study and provide briefings on government budgets and the annual and other financial reports of the State Audit Office.
Speaking at the event, the President of the Assembly, Mr. Talat Xhaferi, said that he is “delighted that the Assembly will now have an office to help the parliament advance its independence and fulfil its financial oversight role.”
“The Parliamentary Budget office will also facilitate a better and informed debate in the Assembly,” he said.
British Ambassador to North Macedonia, Rachel Galloway, congratulated “the commitment of the Assembly towards objectivity, professionalism and transparency.”
“MPs have the power – and also the responsibility – to represent the needs and interests of the citizens,” she said, “public finances are amongst the most important issues, since they directly affect the lives of citizens.”