Worth a read by readers of this blog (.pdf).
Budget oversight by the Irish parliamentary chambers is under-developed by international standards.
Reforms mooted include:
- Ex ante parliamentary input to medium-term fiscal planning;
- Ex ante parliamentary input on budget priorities;
- Early publication of full budgetary information and legislative proposals;
- Timely consideration of the Estimates of Expenditure;
- Performance Dialogue with joint committees in early year;
- Re-introduce “Pre-Budget Estimates” showing “no policy change” expenditure baselines;
- Establish an Irish Parliamentary Budget Office to support parliamentary engagement and budget scrutiny;
- Continuing Professional Development of parliamentarians and officials;
- “Performance hearings” with joint committees in early part of the year (February-March);
- Power for joint committees to recommend changes to performance information;
- Systematic review of existing performance metrics;
- Estimates Performance Reports;
- Promotion of IrelandStat as an authoritative portal for public performance;
- Linkages to higher level strategies and articulation of a “National Performance Framework”;
- Establishment of a “National Performance Quality Panel”;
- Role for Irish Parliamentary Budget Office in supporting performance scrutiny;
- Selective Audit of Performance Information by the Office of the Comptroller & Auditor General in reports to the Public Accounts Committee and other committees.
Well worth going through this, it is a wealth of constructive suggestions.