Reforming the Legal Framework for the Budget Process
This Policy Note examines the Budget Reform Bill using two perspectives, namely, the problem-solving perspective and the perspective of international best practice in this area. Among others, it reveals the weak performance of the country's current public financial management system in terms of budget reliability, accounting and reporting, and external scrutiny. Although the study finds the bill responsive to most of these issues, it still recommends the inclusion of sections pertaining to budget approval, which may include provisions on the content of the General Appropriations Act and the prohibition on Congress increasing the aggregate appropriation level beyond the amount proposed by the executive under the National Expenditure Program. Moreover, it argues that the fiscal responsibility principles of the proposed reform are somewhat weaker than earlier proposals.