Palau public can now participate in national budget formulation and oversight process
(Koror, Palau) - For the first time since achieving independence in 1994, citizens of Palau can formally participate in the national government budgeting process. The formal process for the inclusion of the public including women, men and children when a national budget is formulated and to participate in the review of how public funds are used was agreed in a joint resolution by the Palau Senate and House of Delegates in March 2012. It was officially launched along with an e-library and intranet system, and the first Congress Strategic Corporate Development Plan 2012 – 2015 last week.
The Joint Resolution also known as joint rules governing all aspects of inter chamber relationships between the Palau Senate and House of Delegates was adopted after a series of dialogue facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Palau Congress through UNDP’s Support to Palau Congress Project.
The joint resolution outlined the Senate and the House of Delegates agreement to work together closely in a number of ways. These include having a common law making agenda; joint public hearing for bills and proposed laws; encouraging civil society organizations to participate actively in the budget making process, as well as joint staff and joint committee to address disagreements on provisions in bills or proposed legislations.
Speaking at the launch, the Speaker of the House of Delegates, Honourable Noah Idechong said, “Today we are launching the internet, intranet, e-library for the Olbila Era Kelulau that will transform the Palau Congress to par with the 21st century legislature. The e-library will allow for improved archiving and public access to information about the Congress and its work”.
Palau’s first Congress Strategic Corporate Development Plan 2012 – 2015 launched at the same event will enable a better level of prioritization, planning and budgeting for Congress support offices and targeted training for staff on information technology, research and report writing, record keeping, filling and preparation of memoranda and notes.
In remarks presented on his behalf at the launch, the UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator, Knut Ostby noted, “The current UNDP support to the Palau Congress Project focuses a great deal on training the Congress Secretariat to perform its support role better for you. The installation of the intranet system with firewall is in short an e-library facility. We believe that provision of appropriate technology; research and information services and training of personnel will be an important contribution to increase the level of support received by members of the Palau Congress and the public at large from the Congress support offices”.
The three years (2010 – 2012) Support to Palau Congress Project is a partnership between the Congress and National Government of Palau and UNDP with funding support from the Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund (DGTTF).
Shobhna Decloitre, UNDP Communications Specialist on (679) 3300399 or Shobhna.firstname.lastname@example.org;
Palau Congress contact person, Mr Roman Yano, Chief Clerk, House of Delegates, Palau Congress on (680) 775 6124 or email@example.com
Additional information on UNDP’s work in the Pacific on Parliamentary Support.