The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) was established in 2017, pursuant to Section 13, sub-section (1) of the Parliamentary Service Act of 2007 which empowers the Parliamentary Service Commission to establish such departments as it considers necessary or expedient for the efficient performance of its functions. Following understudy visits made by Members of Parliament (MPs) and Staff to the Parliaments of Uganda and Ghana in 2017 with the Support of the United Nations Development Programme, the PBO comes into existence to support Parliament’s oversight and law-making functions, ensure accountability and transparency in the use of public resources, raise the quality of debates and enhance evidence-based decision making through the provision of independent and objective analysis of the country’s public finances, the national budget, and the economy. The PBO also seeks to provide analysis on the financial and economic cost of government proposals which fall within the scope of Parliament.
The vision of the PBO is to be the principal hub for impartial budget, economic and fiscal research and analysis in strengthening the effectiveness of Parliament’s oversight, legislative and law-making functions in the national budget process.
The Parliamentary Budget Office has positioned itself to contribute to the work of Parliament in agreement with a set of core values and features which make its work professional and convincing. Our values include:
INDEPENDENCE: We ensure that our work is discharged in a manner that is free from Government’s influence, objective in its analysis, and unrestricted to be openly communicated to Parliament and the public.
TRANSPARENCY: We strive to ensure that in all we do, our outputs, approaches, and dealings with Members of Parliament, the government and other parties of interest are done fairly, with good conduct and civility.
NON-PARTISANSHIP: We maintain a stance of being unprejudiced and we refuse to condition our work in support of any political affiliation or interests. We endeavour to produce outputs which are acceptable and beneficial to all Members of Parliament.
EXPERTISE AND DEPENDABILITY: In doing our work, we strive to pursue excellence and use our knowledge and skills to produce an array of high quality and relevant products for Parliament in a timely and reliable manner.
WHAT WE DO
Budget Analysis: The PBO aims to provide independent and objective analysis to Parliament on matters relating to the national budget, estimates and the nation’s public finances. This analysis typically relates to government’s revenues (tax and non-tax), expenditures, sector spending, local council finances, and the finances of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). In carrying out this role, the PBO analyses and delivers budget briefs and reports on key budget documents to Members of Parliament; works with Committee Clerks to prepare Appropriation Committee reports; analyse reports from the Ministry of Finance and other institutions on the financial risks associated with government policies; and it also prepares briefs and apprises MPs on the implementation of the budget as approved by Parliament.
Macroeconomic and Fiscal Analysis: An important role of the PBO is to conduct macroeconomic and fiscal analysis and forecasting and produce briefs and reports which will enable MPs to understand the performance and underpinnings of the economy, and government policies. This aspect of the PBOs work includes but is not limited to analyses on revenue and tax policy, debt management, financial and macroeconomic risks, financing, and assessment of government proposals and money bills.
Costing of Bills and Government Proposals: In supporting Parliament to exercise its budget oversight function, the PBO will estimate the financial cost of bills or any government proposal which will have significant impact on the budget and produce reports which will enable Parliament to make evidence-based decisions and sound policies for the citizens of Sierra Leone.
Institutional Strengthening: The PBO seeks to serve in strengthening Parliament as an institution which is competent and able to supervise the executive arm of government on budgetary matters, through collaboration with Committee Clerks to produce high quality reports for MPs on issues dealing with the budget, public finances and the economy; building of a database on economic and financial parameters; and the creation of a network of academics, think tanks, Civil Society Organisations, and media houses which have mutual interests on the budget and the economy of the country.