Parliamentarians, civil society representatives, public servants and local and international experts discussed best practices in parliamentary oversight in Chisinau and recommendations on strengthening parliamentary oversight in Moldova.
”Parliamentary oversight is a priority for the Moldovan Parliament in 2017. We are grateful to our development partners for supporting us in learning from the best practices in the region and the world,” said Anatolie Zagorodnii, deputy chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Legal Issues, Appointments and Immunities.
The public hearing on strengthening parliamentary scrutiny in Moldova was organized by the UNDP Project "Strengthening Parliamentary Governance in Moldova", financed by the Swedish Government, with the participation of the Parliamentary Commission for Appointments and Immunities.
”Oversight is a core function of Parliament and it is essential to building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions, as envisioned by Sustainable Development Goal 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. Parliament’s oversight of government is critical for ensuring that people receive essential services, and is thus critical of building accountability,” said Stefan Liller, UNDP Deputy Permanent Representative to Moldova.
At the hearings, the participants learned about the latest global trends in parliamentary oversight, included in the second edition of the Global Parliamentary Report, prepared by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the United Nations Development Programme. The Report, released in October, was presented in Chisinau by one of the authors - Mads Hove, policy analyst, Inclusive Political Processes, UNDP New York Office. The full report can be found here.
Franklin De Vrieze, UNDP international parliamentary consultant, presented a comprehensive comparative research on parliamentary oversight in the Moldovan Parliament and European national parliaments. The analysis includes several thematic areas, including oversight of budget execution, ex-post analysis of legislation, the role of Committees in parliamentary control, and others, and contains several recommendations for implementing good practices from the region into the Moldovan Parliament.
Later, the UNDP national consultant, Viorel Parvan, presented concrete proposals for amendment of the rules of procedure and a methodology for the ex-post evaluation of the legislation with the aim of strengthening the function of parliamentary oversight.
In the recent years, UNDP supported numerous actions and tools to strengthen the work of the Parliament of Moldova and bring the legislature closer to the people:
- In 2014, with the support of UNDP, four territorial information offices of the Parliament were opened in Comrat, Edinet, Leova and Orhei. They host regular hearings, public consultations and MPs’ meetings with local residents;
- In April 2017, an e-petition portal was launched, which allows citizens to submit petitions to Parliament online;
- UNDP supports thematic parliamentary caucuses. The Women Caucus, formed in 2015, works to promote a gender dimension in public policies. In July 2016, the Moldova National Chapter of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) was established – it brings together 9 current and former MPs from all factions determined to denounce corruption and promote integrity in the public system;
- UNDP also supports the professionalization of Parliament’s public communication. In 2015, a Visit and Information Center was created, which helped over 15,000 citizens visit the institution, where they had the chance to meet their elected representatives;
- The Parliament has a new communication strategy and visual identity, and the staff of Parliament’s Secretariat in charge for public communication have been trained in various areas of this work;
- In 2017, UNDP helped develop 6 educational videos on parliamentary activities and procedures. The videos will be used in civics classes in schools as well as in public service announcements and in other public events organized by the Parliament.