31st August 2015
MINISTRY OF FINANCE TALKS ABOUT THE BUDGET WITH CIVIL SOCIETY
Citizens are being invited to engage with government when it comes to the budgetary process of the country. In June of this year, the Minister of Finance,Trade and Blue Economy Mr Jean-Paul Adam extended this invitation as part of a meeting with representatives of the Citizens Engagement Platform Seychelles (CEPS). This was followed in early July but an introductory session on Programme Performance Based Budgeting(PPBB) with CEPS members.
This relationship has further been strengthened following a sharing of experience between members of CEPS, which is the platform for civil society in Seychelles and officials from the Ministry of Finance (MoF). The session took place in a half day session, on Friday 28th of August at CARE House.
The aim of the meeting was to get members of civil society to understand their role in the budgetary process and the importance of budget transparency which is essential for accountability.
In his welcoming address, the Principal Secretary for Finance Mr Patrick Payet explained that Seychelles is one of the countries who have opted to adopt a budgetary programme which guaranties budget execution and accountability. He went on to say that following the session, his department is looking forward to receiving comments from civil society when it comes to the budgetary process especially now that PPBB is being introduced in Seychelles
Ms Nelly Coopoosamy of MoF made a presentation on PPBB and how it has proven to be a great advantage to the various ministries where it is being piloted. Other facilitators of the workshop have come from the World Bank, the international body currently working with the MoF on introducing the PPBB. Through presentations participants were able to be informed of the best practices taking place between the government and civil society of of South Africa and Kenya.
Following the sessions, representatives of MoF spoke to civil society participants on the formulation of a framework for Seychelles that will enable civil society to engage with government. Various ideas were put forward and they included familiarising civil society organisations (CSOs) with MoF policy and procedures and the introduction of a pre budget process that would enable civil society to engage with the budget allocations
On its part CEPS will have to better organise itself so that the platform is prepared when this exercise begins. As part of this, one idea brought forward is that civil society form a think tank for the purpose of engagement when it comes to the national budgetary process.