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Connecting People and Ideas for Integrated Development

Research on the Role of Budget Offices in Legislative Strengthening Published to Governance JournalAri Renonia and Dean Straussman

Rockefeller College Dean Jeffrey Straussman and SUNY/CID Research Fellow Ari Renoni published a Research Note in the January 2011 issue of the international journal of policy, administration and institutions, Governance.

Straussman and Renoni explore the emergence of non-partisan budget offices in legislatures in order to provide legislatures with information and analysis independent from the executive. The United States Agency for International Development believes that strengthening the legislature's power of the purse improves governance. They highlight USAID-funded legislative strengthening projects that are implemented by SUNY/CID in Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, and Afghanistan to show how these budget offices function. There is a significant potential for these units to assist members of parliament in understanding the budget process, the broad fiscal challenges facing government, and expenditure control and budgetary trade-offs that affect present and future spending. These cases demonstrate the challenges of creating and sustaining a parliamentary budget office. Finally, in an effort to make budget offices effective and sustainable, Straussman and Renoni outline several key steps that they believe are important both for donors and the legislative bodies.

A longer version of the paper with a more detailed analysis of the budget offices is available on our Publications page, as part of SUNY CID’s series on the Comparative Assessment of Parliaments, or CAP Notes.

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