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QCPS Workshop Urges Enhanced Parliamentary Oversight of General Budget


A workshop organised by the Al Quds Centre for Political Studies (QCPS) called for amending statute of Jordan's parliament to empower MPs to vote on and endorse closing statements of the state budget.
In order to enhance parliamentary oversight of general budget, Jordan should issue a special law governing the approval of those closing statements, recommended the workshop, held at the Landmark Hotel in Amman.
The seminar brought together MP Abdul Rahim Bqaai, head of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Dr. Abed Kharabsheh, president of the Audit Bureau, Dr. Munther Sharaa, chairman of the Economic and Social Council, and Dr. Mohmmad Masalhah, political science professor and former secretary general of the lower house, as well as former lawmakers, economists, leaders of political parties, academics, and searchers.
The participants called for reforming the 1952 Audit Bureau Law to support the supervisory role of the governmental body by legally linking it with the legislature, urging the Ministry of Finance to disclose all information on supplemental appropriations and clarify budget variances and deviations.
They agreed that parliament should be equipped with qualified staff to analyse closing statements, and conduct necessary financial, economic, and legal research to help legislators take decisions.
During the workshop, public finance and good governance expert, Arwa Najdawi, presented a study on parliamentary oversight of closing statements of the state budget in line with international standards.
Najdawi said MPs should have full access to the closing statements -- a factor that backs oversight of government spending and ensures accountability of the executive branch.