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Publication(Washington, DC, 2013-06-10) World BankSound legislative oversight of public finances is crucial to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of public spending. All national governments, and particularly those that are accountable to their citizens through free elections and the voice of civil society, are concerned with the efficiency and efficacy of public finances. More broadly, well-functioning parliaments promote good governance; enhance transparency and accountability, including for public expenditures and their results; widen public discourse on national priorities and options; and build better partnerships between officials and representatives and their electorate. In all this, those among the citizenry with the least have the most to gain. This report responds to a request from the Government of Jamaica to review the structure and capacity of the Parliament of Jamaica to undertake its constitutional role with respect to oversight of the nation's public finances. Jamaica's Parliament is the country's supreme legislative body, consisting of an elected House of Representatives and an appointed Senate (Upper House), as well as the Queen or her representative, as the ceremonial head, and the Governor General. The Government of Jamaica has amended various legislations to adopt a Fiscal Responsibility Framework (FRF). The FRF includes specific fiscal targets as well as provisions to include the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and public service control over expenditures and lending.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2008-04) World BankThis document presents the main governance indicators for the country, as compiled by the World Bank Institute (WBI), and how are they used by international institutions in making decisions about assistance to Nicaragua. Although these indicators have weaknesses, they can provide a general indication of what are the priority areas for investigation. Accordingly, the present review concentrates on a few key areas where the Bank's expertise can add value and complement the efforts of other donors, including: (a) the regulatory system; (b) the system of property registries; and (c) two of the mechanisms for oversight and accountability of public sector performance (the Comptroller's Office and social accountability). The overall objective of the Institutional and Governance Review (IGR) is to examine the institutional and governance bottlenecks that stand in the way of more effective impact of key public policies, particularly poverty reduction policies. Since the report is limited in scope, the criteria to decide priority areas for review included: (a) issues that are of particular significance for better governance and institutionality; (b) issues that are particularly important in relation to poverty reduction; (c) issues where the Bank has a comparative advantage; and (d) issues where there would not be a duplication of effort with other donors or other studies undertaken by the Bank and where the IGR can add value.
Republic of Paraguay Institutional and Governance Review Breaking with Tradition : Overcoming Institutional Impediments to Improve Public Sector Performance(Washington, DC, 2005-06) World BankThe present study uses examples from all three branches of Government - the Ministry of Finance, the ordinary courts, and the Congress in its budgetary role - to examine the institutional obstacles to their improved performance and the opportunities for targeted changes. It builds on recent analytic work done by Paraguayan academics and others, highlighting the historical and persisting impact of the traditional political practices. The arguments emphasize that the particularistic use of public resources has been and remains key to obtaining and holding political power in Paraguay. The study's goals were eminently practical to provide Paraguay's reformers with insights as to how they can escape a series of vicious circles. As they understand the basics quite well, the emphasis here was on their more detailed application at the organizational and sub-organizational levels.