To be the leading Budget Office in the region and beyond.
To provide objective, professional and non-partisan economic policy analysis for effective legislative decision making and oversight;
The Parliamentary Budget Office is committed to upholding the following core values:
- Presiding Officers
- Members of Parliament
- Administration of Parliament
- The Executive
- Civil society
- General public
Background of the Parliament Budget Office (PBO)
Pursuant to the need to enhance its Budget and Financial oversight function, Parliament of Zimbabwe set up a Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) which began operations on the first of September 2016. Zimbabwe follows its peers; South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda who have all enhanced their fiscal oversight capacity by establishing Parliamentary Budget Offices (PBOs). The Zimbabwean Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) was established in terms of Section 154(4) of the of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which provides that; “The Committee on Standing Rules and Orders must appoint such other staff of Parliament as it considers necessary.” This constitutional provision gave Parliament the operational autonomy and independence to appoint Staff to actualise the proposed functions of the Parliament Budget Office.
- To provide independent, objective, professional and simplified expert analysis and impact assessment to Parliament on matters related to the budget, economic policy and money bills thereby enhancing parliamentarians’ capacity to objectively debate national budgets and other key Government economic policies.
- Carrying out targeted quantitative and qualitative research on issues relevant to Parliament’s legislative, representative and oversight roles.
- Serving as a technical support unit to Parliament and its Committees on budget and financial matters thus enabling them to put forward informed, objective and well balanced proposals for consideration by the Executive.
Functions of the Parliament Budget Office
- Analysis of the National Budget Proposals – The PBO undertakes a technical review of the budgetary estimates contained in the Executive’s budget and produces analysis reports for committees and Members of Parliament to enable the legislature to objectively debate the various provisions of the national budget.
- Analysis of National Economic Development Policy Proposals – The PBO objectively reviews and evaluates the merits and demerits of national economic development policies including Monetary and Fiscal Policy Statements and Annual Development Plans. The principal objective of the review process is to evaluate whether national resources are deployed optimally across competing needs and priorities. The medium to long-term impact assessments of government programmes enables Parliament to debate on development evaluation and to propose policy adjustments in order to avoid policy inconsistencies.
- Preparing Economic Policy Briefs – The PBO prepares simplified briefs on budgets and other economic concepts for the benefit of Members of Parliament, the media, civil society and the public in general. The time demands placed on policy makers as well as the complexity of budgets, create a demand for such policy briefs.
- Economic Policy Research – The PBO undertakes continual research initiatives on economic policy subjects, sectoral economic developments as well as global economic policy and trade developments in order to strengthen the knowledge base of Parliament from a global perspective.
Why Budget Office
One of the most important legislative processes is the approval of the annual Budget as enshrined in Section 305 of the Constitution and Section 28(1) of the Public Finance Management Act [Chapter 22:19]. Being a socio-economic and political document, the budget affects the life of every citizen and is one of the most important tools through which the elected representatives can exercise influence on the economic and social development policies of the country. It primarily involves a legitimate process of raising the revenue and (an equitable) distribution of public resources amongst various sectors. The Budget is the clearest expression of the government’s priorities and targets, reflecting its fiscal plans, social and financial commitments. In this regard, Transparent and equitable allocation of resources and oversight of implementation of public policy is crucial and from a development perspective, strong parliamentary engagement in the budget process ensures that not only the needs of the electorate are met, but also that public money is equitably raised, well spent and properly accounted for. Parliament, as a representative institution of the people, should also provide a platform for public to debate the nation’s priorities as enshrined in Section 141 of the Constitution. Parliament, through Sections 119(3), 298 and 299 is also assigned a broad mandate of oversight of all State revenues and expenditure in order to ensure financial probity in the utilization of public resources. Parliament can effectively perform these functions with technical support from the PBO.
Benefits of the PBO to Zimbabwe
- Enhanced parliamentarians’ capacity to objectively debate national budgets, Auditor General reports and other economic policies thus enabling the Legislature to put forward informed, objective and well balanced proposals for consideration by the Executive;
- Putting the legislature on a more equal footing with the executive (reduced information asymmetries) thus promoting executive accountability and enabling the legislature to engage in the budget process in a more objective, effective, and responsible manner;
- Creation of a technical bridge between the Executive and Parliament
- Provision of accurate and professional information on budget, finance and economic issues to the legislature;
- Strengthened technical capacity of Parliament to hold state institutions to account on public finances.
Parliament Budget Office
Second Floor Pax House South
89 Kwame Nkrumah Avenue
P.O. Box CY 298
Phone: +263-4- 700181-8, 252931/936 ext 2011/2012