Pacific Floating Parliament Budget Office

In one sentence, the floating Parliament Accounts Committee between Small Pacific Islands State creates a multi-national team of experts who simplifies budget processes while transparently saving resources. A cost-effective measure to share expertise, boost accountability and communicate openly about Governments’ budget processes while providing MPs with the best guidance possible.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

Challenge: Many countries have parliamentary budget offices with economic and finance researchers who scrutinize a national budget to provide parliamentarians with independent analysis, so they can easily comprehend the budget, amend it if necessary, and vote on it.
But in the Pacific where countries are small, and parliaments modest, a lack of resources and expertise to provide an analysis of budgets can leave parliamentarians lost in tables and numbers; and civil society organizations and citizens none the wiser about where the money is being spent.

Innovation: The Floating Parliament Accounts Committee is a team of experts from multiple Islands States in the Pacific that go from one Parliament to another to provide expert feedback to MPs and shared their analysis with the public and civil society. According to a member of Fiji Parliament Namoce, “Our job is to simplify the complex information that comes from Ministries of Finance, as most community leaders have little knowledge of budgets and trends in spending. You are dealing with high expectations from politicians to have good information that they can use in debates. The opposition sometimes has even higher expectations for us to investigate and find out where the money is going.”

Objectives: simpler effective transparent and accountable budget design and oversight process from the Parliament and civil society with cost-effective expert support.

Beneficiaries: Pacific Islands States and more specifically the Parliaments of Fiji, Tonge, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.

Scale up: ensure that the Floating Office is sustainable, staffed with experts, reaches  more Parliaments and engages with the broader public more systematically, but also continues to develop more expertise on gender specific and climate change adaption markers to promote more inclusive and sustainable budgets.

Innovation Description

Innovation Development

Innovation Reflections

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Status:

  • Evaluation - understanding whether the innovative initiative has delivered what was needed
  • Diffusing Lessons - using what was learnt to inform other projects and understanding how the innovation can be applied in other ways

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