Project launched to enhance Budget Oversight of Viet Nam’s Elected Bodies
Ha Noi - The Committee for Financial- Budgetary Affairs of the National Assembly (CFBA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (UNDP) have announced a three-year project that will provide $2.3 million to enhance the budget oversight capacites of Viet Nam’s elected bodies.
Participants in the launching workshop held in Ha Noi today are Mr. Dinh Van Nha, Vice Chairman of the Committee for Financial- Budgetary Affairs of the National Assembly (CFBA), Mr Danh Ut, Vice-Chairman of the Ethnic Council and Ms Louise Chamberlain, UNDP Country Director, and Representatives of relevant agencies of the National Assembly, the Government, a number of international organizations in Viet Nam and People's Councils of provinces / cities as project beneficiaries.
The project entitled “Strengthening the Capacity of Budget Oversight for People’s Elected Bodies in VietNam” is supported by United Nations Development Program in Viet Nam, implemented by the Committee for Financial- Budgetary Affairs of the National Assembly (CFBA), co-implemented by the Ethnic Council, agencies of the National Assembly and People's Councils of 30 provinces/ cities in the country.
The project takes place in the context that public finance reform is a priority in the agenda of the Government. At the same time, the National Assembly and the Government of Vietnam are continuing to finalize the system of legal documents, especially important laws related to finance and budget such as the State Budget Law, Law on Oversight Activities of the National Assembly, the State Audit Law, the Law on the Management and Use of State Assets, Public Debt Management Law. This is to meet the requirements of Viet Nam’s socio-economic development in consistent with international practices.
In addition, the authorities of the National Assembly and People's Councils in budget decision-making and oversight has been significantly increased. Local People's Council is making decision for nearly 50% of the total state budget. Dealing with the challenges in the capacities of the National Assembly and People's Councils in the budgetary scrutiny and decision-making is crucial for ensuring completion of the development plan for the coming period.
The initiative is expected to enable the Committee for Financial-Budgetary Affairs, Provincial People Councils and Ethnic Council to play a full role in budget decision-making and oversight. In particular, the project will timely provide data and research results on budget related issues, especially the impact of budget decision on various people groups, thus helping National Assembly deputies and the Committee effectively carry out their functions.
The project will also support the Ethnic Council in overseeing the implementation of ethinic minority related policies and programmes as well as the budget spending of various ministries, departments and local authorities in mountainous and ethnic minority areas.
Through the project, Provincial People’s Council will have the capacities needed for delivering their broader mandate. The project will organize training courses for deputies of the Provincial People’s Council on specific issues such as methods for making revenue estimates, evaluating infrastructure projects and analyzing investment projects based on economic analysis techniques. The training will focus on enhancing knowledge and skills to evaluate the impacts of proposed public projects in their localities so that the deputies can make smart budget decisions for sustainable local development.
According to Mr. Dinh Van Nha, Vice Chairman of the Committee for Financial-Budgetary Affairs of the National Assembly and National Project Diretor, this international cooperation project is a good opportunity to improve institutional and human capacity of elected bodies, drawing from practical experience and knowledge of countries around the world. The project builds on 10-year successful cooperation between the Committee for Financial- Budgetary Affairs of the National Assembly (formerly the Economic and Budget Committee) and UNDP. The Project Work Plan needs to ensure compliance with the guidelines and policies of the Party and the State such as the 2011-2020 Economic Development Strategy; the Social and financial strategy till 2020, the Tax system reform strategy and the Sustainable development strategy.
Speaking at the seminar, Ms Louise Chamberlain, UNDP Country Director highlighted the need for the National Assembly to assert its role in the budget analysis process through being involved in budget estimates planning and the assessment of priorities for resource allocation as well as by assessing the impact of budget decisions on people’s lives, especially of vulnerable groups. In the context of the current pubic finance reform, priorities should be given to enhancing the capacities of the National Assembly and People’s Council in overseeing buget, promoting public awareness, transparency, accountability and integrity. Ms Chamberlain noted this as the reason for UNDP to cooperate with the Committee for Finance-Budgetary Affairs in this initiative.