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:
Members of Parliament
Administration of Parliament
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. 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.
The Zimbabwean Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) was established in terms of Section 154(4) 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.” PBO began operations on the first of September 2016.
REGIONAL AND GLOBAL NETWORK OF PARLIAMENT BUDGET OFFICES (PBOs)
PBOs seek to empower parliaments to engage effectively across the budget cycle through the provision of timely, relevant, objective and sound analysis of the budget and other economic policies. PBOs have established Community of practice that provides a platform for knowledge and experience sharing on good practices, concepts, challenges and opportunities related to the design, establishment, and operation of PBOs. The Global Network of Parliament Budget Offices (GN-PBO) brings together PBOs across the globe as well as experts to share experiences, best practices, challenges as well as problem solving. The African Network of Parliament Budget Offices (AN-PBO) is an African subgrouping of the GNPBO. These networks present perfect platforms for Budget Offices and other similar institutions to meet and share ideas and experience in order to strengthen their support for Parliamentary fiscal oversight. They also draw on the experience and knowledge of other stakeholders within the fiscal oversight and public governance environment.
The GNPBO has held five conferences that were jointly hosted by the World Bank and the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFSD) at the University of Ottawa in Canada. Similarly, the South African PBO has hosted the first three ANPBO conferences in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The 2019 edition of the ANPBO Annual Assembly which was the fourth in a row was hosted by the Ghanaian PBO in Accra, Ghana. The Conferences explored different roles played by African PBOs in supporting their Parliaments’ fiscal oversight over the Executive. The 2020 and 2021 Conferences were suspended due to the Covid 19 pandemic. The 5th conference, was held in Harare from the 22nd to 26th of August 2022 and it further advanced these goals and to strengthen the support given to parliamentarians in their fiscal oversight role within the continent. The conference adopted the AN-PBO Charter and also elected a Governing council as follows: Chair- South Africa; Deputy Chair-Gambia; Secretary General –Kenya; Deputy Secretary General-Uganda; Treasurer-Zimbabwe; Deputy Treasurer-Malawi and Council Members Zambia, Ghana and Sierra Leone. Other Members of the ANPBO are Mozambique, Somalia, and Tanzania,
The Network discussions are held in an interactive, participatory, relaxed and more engaging setting which is the best in exploring different perspectives from the diverse PBO and IFIs as opposed to a stereotype manner of present-listen-discuss. Let’s keep the network going and growing!
Budget Analysis Reports
Monetary Policy Analysis
Analysis of Government policy options
Analysis of AG reports
Policy Monitoring reports
Demand-driven special reports
Some of the analytical documents the PBO has produced can be downloaded from the resources menu on the Parliament website