Accompany bills with fiscal impact assessment – Prof Baah-Boateng

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By
Christopher Arko, GNA

Accra, Nov.30, GNA –
Professor William Baah-Boateng, Head, Department of Economics, University of
Ghana has called on Parliament to exercise its oversight role by ensuring that
bills laid before the House were accompanied by fiscal and economic impact
assessment.

According to him,
such fiscal impact analysis would help the legislature to determine the effect
of such proposal on the revenue and expenditure of government as well as its
potential to generate employment for the people.

Professor
Baah-Boateng made the call at a forum organised by the Ministry of
Parliamentary Affairs at Parliament House.

The forum which was
on the theme: “Interrogating Parliament’s legislative power: A review of
employment creation and fiscal impact analysis of legislations” was attended by
members of the Finance Committee, Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs Committee as well as Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

Professor
Baah-Boateng who made a presentation on the topic: “The scrutiny of employment:
Creating potentials of legislative proposals by the Parliament of Ghana”
stressed the need for Parliament to make the issues of sustainable employment a
priority in its legislation since it is the main source of livelihood.

He explained that
employment also influences the training and skill development, national
stability and development.

He said even though
Parliament most of the time is concern about the fiscal issues, growth and
macro stability, but tend to overlook issues of employment.

Professor
Baah-Boateng also charged Parliament to ensure that every government policy
should be able to measure the direct, indirect and induced employment that
could come out through legislation.

He explained that in
every legislative action that the House undertakes there is an inherent
employment activity.

Professor Godfred
Alufar Bokpin, University of Ghana Business School who spoke on the topic:
“Fiscal Impact Analysis accompanying legislative proposals in Ghana; what is
Parliament’s responsibility?” indicated that Parliament has an obligation to
optimised budget by marching national needs with available resources consistent
with fiscal limit.

He argued that
whenever a bill was coming to Parliament from the executive arm of government
or a covered entity they should be accompanied by fiscal impact analysis to
guide it.

He explained that if
the bill was coming from a covered entity then the ministries must conduct the
fiscal impact analysis to certify before it gets to parliament.

Prof Bokpin also
applauded Parliament for the passage of the Public Financial Management (PFM)
Act, 2016, Act 921, which he described as significant for the harmonisation of
legislative framework in managing public funds.

According to him the
PFM is a big credit to the Members of Parliament (MP) for what they did in
2016.

“Something
significant happened in this country in 2016, in terms of how we harmonised the
legislative framework when it comes to managing public funds…. The PFM Act, I
think is a big credit to our MPs to what we did in 2016” he added.

Prof Bokpin also
explained that the PFM Act had many things beyond what they had before and  bringing various pieces together in one
framework.

He said the
importance of the fiscal impact analysis was to strengthen the key objective of
the PFM Act in terms fiscal policy formulation and implementation, budget
efficiency, prudent debt management, transparency, accountability and also to
improve macro fiscal policy formulation and especially its implementation.

Dr Evans Aggrey
Darkoh, Chief Director, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MoPA) in his remark
stated that the ministry’s engagement with the two Committees of Parliament was
to interrogate the legislative power of Parliament by using the fiscal impact
assessment accompanying bills and the employment creating capacity as case
study.

He said the view was
to identify both formal and informal factors that impact on parliament in
carrying out effective scrutiny of these legislative proposals.   

Dr Darkoh also stated
the programme seeks to examine the potency of the legislative power of
Parliament and to discuss House’s power in relation to the examination of
fiscal impact assessment of legislative proposals.      

He said the
intention is to review the responsibilities of Parliament by ensuring that
legislative proposals give due consideration to employment creation.

He said goal is to
outline formal and informal influences that impact these powers of government
and provide recommendations to improve legislative functions of
parliament. 

GNA

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