During the discussions of the Draft State Budget of Georgia for 2018 held at the Plennarry Session of the Parliament Mr. Irakli Kovzanadze, Fiscal Committee Chair focused on the significance of the PBO and spoke about the problems and discontent numerously caused by the current performance of the PBO among Members of Parliament (MPs).
According to the Committee Chair, PBO should regularly support MPs, Committees and general public with its independent studies and analysis. It should evaluate the Draft Budgets submitted to the Parliament, execution of the current budgets, pending or applied fiscal efforts initiated by the executive or legislative authorities of the country. It should present its analysis and assessments of the macroeconomic position of Georgia, foreign exchange trends, etc.
Irrespective of the above expectations, Committer Chair believed that PBO fails to perform its duties. For instance, Draft State Budget for 2018 was heard by 15 Committees of the Parliament in October. Hearings at 14 out of 15 Committees of the Parliament have been held without any input (background information and overview) from the PBO on the submitted Draft Budget. Neither majority, nor minority of the Parliament received an input from the PBO. It was only made available at the very last moment - 40 minutes prior to the Concluding Meeting of the Fiscal Committee of the Parliament, thus leaving insufficient time for the adequate scrutiny of the information on the submitted Draft Budget.
In addition, most recent (as of November 3) information posted on the website of the PBO on the execution of the current budget dates back to Jan-Feb 2017. No information is found on the annual execution of State Budget in 2016; Q1, Q2 and following months of 2017.
"PBO is left without due attention. Current position harms the budgetary process and makes it less transparent and public. It discredits the presence of the unit within the Parliament of Georgia" –notes Mr. Irakli Kovzanadze, Fiscal Committee Chair in his speech made at the Parliament of Georgia.