November, 02, 2010, Dhaka: Sound public financial management is the prerequisite for Bangladesh to achieve Middle Income Status by 2021. The speakers stressed that strengthening the oversight of public accounts through the Parliamentary committees is crucial to ensure proper usage of scarce public resources at the launching workshop of the “Strengthening Parliamentary Oversight Project” today.
The ‘Strengthening Parliamentary Oversight’ project is one of the three components of the Government’s ‘Strengthening Public Expenditure Management Program’ (SPEMP). The program aims to continue with the reforms in Public Financial Management to ensure proper resource allocation and better public service delivery. The ‘Strengthening Parliamentary Oversight’ project would strengthen legislative oversight through better functioning of the parliamentary committees that deal with allocation and monitoring of public resource.
“’Strengthening Public Expenditure Management Program’ is an overarching program for public financial management reforms in Bangladesh that supports three essential pillars: executive function, legislative oversight and independent audit. Our new country assistance strategy underscores strengthening of public financial management as an ongoing priority.” said Ellen Goldstein, Country Director, World Bank Bangladesh. “Bangladesh has made gradual progress as recognized in improved global rankings for budget transparency in recent Open Budget Survey. Launch of the Public Accounts Committee website is another step forward in increasing accountability and transparency of public resource use.”
Without strong oversight, improving overall public sector governance will be incomplete. The ‘Strengthening Parliamentary Oversight’ project aims to increase accountability and transparency on the use of public fund. The project will concentrate on three Parliamentary Committees on financial oversight and support institutional capacity building within the Parliament Secretariat to support the financial oversight committees. The project will also focus on informing citizen how public money is being spent through regular press release and publishing committee reports online.
Mr. Mahiuddin Alamgir, Honorable Chairman of the Public Accounts committee inaugurated the Public Accounts Committee website (www.pac-bd.org.bd) at the launching workshop.
The World Bank is administering the comprehensive $ 95 million SPEMP program, financed by a multidonor trust fund with contribution from European Union (EU), UK-Department for International Development (DfID) and Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and the Government of the Netherlands.