SADC members of parliament have made last comments on the bloc’s proposed Public Financial Management (PFM) Model Law, crafted by the region’s Parliamentary Forum. The development comes ahead of the tabling of the Model Law on PFM for adoption at the SADC Parliamentary Forum’s 51st Plenary Assembly in Lilongwe, Malawi in June. The validation meeting was convened last week in Johannesburg, South Africa and SADC PF is optimistic the bloc will resoundingly adopt the SADC Model Law on Public Financial Management (PFM). “This Model Law on PFM is the first such legal instrument ever developed anywhere in the world.
The SADC-PF has thus set itself the ambitious task of devising a harmonised body of legal norms on PFM which would respond to international best practices and contribute to democratic accountability for the SADC region,” said Boemo Sekgoma, Secretary General, of the SADC Parliamentary Forum. Sekgoma said provisions of the Model Law have been formulated from a parliamentary perspective, to facilitate domestication, and to give the strong signal that it is Parliament’s duty to exercise oversight over the Executive on PFM. “We have now set the ball rolling and the Model Law will need your support as MPs to be unpacked at the national level. “Even before domestication, there will be a need to bring the Model Law provisions to the Executive and to departments which are concerned with PFM,” said Sekgoma.
Sharing his comments on the PFM Model Law, Dumelang Saleshando, Botswana’s Opposition Member of Parliament said there is always a problem of oversight on the local parliament, backbenches from the ruling party act in unison with the executive, rendering parliamentary oversight irrelevant. “The desire is to make sure that we do have appropriate up to date legislation and that the model law will be important for Botswana to reflect on what we have versus what happens in the most ideal situations,” said Saleshando. Meanwhile, Eswatini’s Member of Parliament Strydom Mpanza said the Model Law will help each individual jurisdictions in scrutinizing its own PFM tools, to see if they are responsive to the need of safeguarding public finance. “It is one of the best models.
We wish every single member state to take it seriously and make good use of it,” said Mpanza. He bemoaned that the developing countries are losing a lot of money to corruption in public finance management. “We need to find ways in which member states can re-engineer their means and ways of doing things, so that every single public fund is used where it’s supposed to be used,” said Mpanza.
Source: Clare Musonda