INTER PARES | Parliaments in Partnership ̶ EU Global Project to Strengthen the Capacity of Parliaments, in close collaboration with the German Bundestag, organised a week-long intensive study visit with Members of Parliament (MPs) and parliamentary staff from the House of Representatives of Malaysia (Dewan Rakyat). The study visit took place from 10 to 14 February 2020 at the German Bundestag in Berlin.
The delegation was comprised of 6 MPs from the Special Select Committee on Budget at the Dewan Rakyat and 3 staff members, closely involved with the work of the committee.
The German Bundestag provided a detailed analysis of its full budgetary cycle approach, which is a combination of the Westminster and continental models, sharing its experience and expertise in all stages of the budget cycle, from pre-budget consultations and parliamentary budget scrutiny to implementation oversight and post-facto audit. The Irish Houses of the Oireachtas contributed to this activity by outlining their experience in establishing a Parliamentary Budget Office, offering an in-depth analysis into the process of change behind their budgetary reforms in the past five years.
The work programme of the visit included exchanges with MPs and parliamentary staff of the German Bundestag on the following specific topics:
- The role and responsibilities of the Budget and Finance Research Section
- The preparation and execution of the federal budget by the Federal Ministry of Finance
- The adoption process of budget legislation by the German Bundestag: tabling of the draft budget and the financial plan as draft legislation, deliberations and adoption
- Budgetary Control: the role of the Supreme Audit Institution and its cooperation with the Bundestag
- The power of the purse from the perspective of MPs: discussion with MPs of the Budget Committee
- Improving parliamentary budgetary control: recent reforms at the Irish Houses of Oireachtas and the role and functions of the Parliamentary Budget Office
- Observing meetings of the Budget and Audit Committees
This first activity of the INTER PARES Partnership with the Dewan Rakyat will be followed by subsequent activities at the Dewan Rakyat on specific elements of the budgetary cycle that will be of particular interest to support the strengthening of the Parliament’s role in the budgetary process.