4 March 2014

Liberia: Speaker Tyler - 'LBO, a Backbone to Legislative Budget Oversight'

The Speaker of the House of Hose Representatives has reemphasized that the budgetary oversight of the National Legislature rests squarely on the effectiveness of the Legislative Budget Office (LBO).

Speaker Tyler said the LBO is important to the Legislature especially to the Committees on Ways, Means and Finance and Public Account and Expenditure on the proper understanding of the entire budgetary process.

The Lawmaker made these remarks Monday, March 3, when he served as keynote speaker at the LBO In-house capacity building workshop held in the Joint Chamber at the Capitol Building.

He told his audience that capacity building cannot be overemphasized as it enhances the technical knowhow on budget preparation and ensure that members of the legislature have a clear understanding on the hearings and passage of the budget.

The Bomi County Lawmaker admonished staff of the LBO to make use of the capacity training because they are pivotal when it comes to informed decision as it relates to the oversight responsibility of the national budget.

Speaker Tyler also commended the Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA) for supporting the capacity building workshop. Something he said is crucial to the smooth operation of the LBO.

He also called on Director Julius Caesar to extend similar capacity session to members of the Legislature.

For his part, the Chairman on the Joint Public Account Committee, Senator Edward Dagoseh, asserted that the Legislature should see the LBO as its own project and ensure that the office receives the necessary support.

He said when the human mind is developed; productivity provides the tools to work with.

The Director of the LBO, Dr. Julius Caesar, welcomed Speaker Tyler's request to conduct similar workshop for legislators and called on members of the Legislature to provide all necessary support to ensure that the capacity of the LBO is fully enhanced.

Director Caesar revealed that the LBO has the expertise and technical ability to perform its functions and wants the Legislature to provide the ambiance to execute its tasks. The Legislative Budget Office was established through an Act of Legislature in September 2010 and became operational May 2011.

The Act requires the LBO to provide objective, impartial and nonpartisan analyses of the National Budget, funds fiscal operation of Central Government to the Joint Committee on Ways, Means and Finance and Budget of the Liberian Legislature.

It is also an integral part of the National Public Financial Management Reform effort or IPFMRP.

The five-day LBO In-house Workshop for Budget Analysts is supported by OSIWA under the theme "Strengthening Legislative Oversight through Transparency and Accountability.

The workshop is intended to build the capacity of LBO Staff in the areas of providing staff with the knowledge in deriving nonpartisan, objective information through analysis of available data, provide staff with knowledge in the conduct of research and information gathering, and provide staff with skills in conducting analysis on the expenditure and fiscal performance amongst others.

The aim is to ensure that the LBO is function properly and on par with LBO's or PBO's around the world.

The workshop is centered on the topic "Strengthening Capacity in Budget Analysts", is scheduled to conclude Friday, March 7 2014.

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