The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, left, expressed mixed feelings about the Bill in her keynote address during the workshop.
"The Budget Act was a private member's Bill, whose main objective was to empower Parliament as an active participant in the budget process and to provide for an early, continuous and organised involvement of Parliament in the entire budgetary process.
This was a strategic move by MPs to eliminate the rubber stamping of the budget that existed then," Kadaga explained.
Presenting a case against repealing the Budget Act, Kadaga reminded the participants that its aim (the Act) is to improve on the inadequate legal framework, regulate the budgetary process and ensure appropriate allocation of the country's public funds.
"I am glad to testify that the Budget Act, 2001 has performed so well that many other parliaments in Africa and beyond are using it as a benchmark in their countries. I would like to report that Uganda's budget process is now a case study for benchmarking in all the Commonwealth parliaments," Kadaga said.
She observed that the Parliament Budget Bill has exhibited a high analytical capability, which has greatly improved the progress of Uganda's Parliament in its constitutional mandate of legislation and oversight.
"The quality of debates on the Budget and the economy has greatly improved in the last 10 years and the executive cannot take this achievement by Parliament for granted," Kadaga argued.
She noted that the parliament budget office has contributed to the capacity of Parliament in scrutinizing the budget and economic policy by offering independent, and timely advice to Parliament and its committee.
She reminded the finance ministry that in its fourth sitting of the second session on June 27, 2012, Parliament resolved not to support the merging of the Budget Act in the proposed Public Finance Bill.
"Previous consolidation of the Contingency Fund Act of 1962 (and its repeal) in the Public Finance and Accountability Act 2003; rendered the Contingency Act provisions unimplementable, a mistake that we shall not repeat," she said.