NGO Forum Calls for Good Cooperation with National Assembly’s Economy and Finance Commission on National Budget Affairs
The article is extracted from National Assembly Bulletin, Vol. 159, Issue May 2016. This article came after the meeting between National Assembly and the National Budget Working Group (BWG) on the exchange of information on economic and finance matters.
Oxfam has been working and providing on-going technical and financial supports to the BWG through NGO-Forum since 2013 to advocate the RGC and private sector to disclose budget information that is core to citizen’s rights in access to information. The BWG is a national coalition that work together to ensure a collective approach towards budget transparency and accountability in Cambodia. It consists of 8 core members: NGO-Forum, Oxfam, Cambodia for Revenue and Resource Transparency (CCRT), Advocacy and Policy Institute (API), Save the Children, Transparency International Cambodia (TIC), Gender And Development in Cambodia (GADC), Development Partnership in Action (DPA). NGO Forum was selected to be the group’s Secretariat to coordinate day to day function of the BWG given its core mandate on National Budget Project (NBP) of NGO-Forum’s Development Issues Program.
The National Budget Working Group (BWG) has called for good cooperation between itself and the National Assembly’s Economy and Finance commission by proposing an exchange of information on the country’s economic and financial matters.
The appeal came during a meeting between H.E. Dr. CHEAM Yeap, chairman of the National Assembly’s Commission on Economy, Finance, Banking and Audit, and the BWG led by Mr. TEK Vannara on May 2, 2016 at the National Assembly building.
During the meeting, Mr. TEK Vannara, Executive Director of NGO Forum on Cambodia, raised four requests with the commission. The four requests included an exchange of information between civil society and the commission, the commission’s participation in key events organized by the civil society, regular meetings with specialized commissions of the National Assembly once or twice a year, and the civil society’s participation in meetings organized by the commission on issues related to national budget laws.
Mr. TEK Vannara emphasized that the BWG has been in existence since 2006. The work of the Group, he said, focused on a number of areas including civil society capacity building on budget and income of the government and partner NGOs, budget policies with the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), and contribution to the national budget law, particularly the law on public financial management for each year of the Royal Government.
Mr. TEK Vannara added that the BWG composed of eight national and international organizations. The Group has been working with the Royal Government to achieve transparency in the state budget.
H.E. Dr. CHEAM Yeap, voiced his support for the requests raised by the BWG and praised and highly appreciated the latter for its confidence and trust in the country’s legislative as well as executive institutions.
H.E. Dr. CHEAM Yeap said that NGOs have played a key role in assisting the Royal Government as well as the legislative body.
On national budget issues, H.E. Dr. CHEAM Yeap pointed out that the National Assembly’s Commission on Economy, Finance, Banking and Audit, on May 26, 2016, would organize a national workshop on establishment of macro-economic framework for data collection for 2017 budget planning, and for research on the work the Royal Government has done to prepare a national macroeconomic framework for the development of draft law on financial management for year 2017. At the meeting, H.E. Dr. CHEAM Yeap also invited NGO Forum and the BWG members to attend the workshop.