Staff from Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada took part in a capacity-building seminar on the parliamentary oversight of public policies, organised in Budapest on 20-21 May by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
International experts from Academia and parliamentary advisers from France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Latvia, Romania and North Macedonia, presented theoretical and practical examples of the oversight work of parliaments from their respective countries.
Topics covered included the need for evaluation and effective oversight of public policies, as well as the preparation of draft laws and political measures at parliamentary level. Participants were offered tools for objective assessment of the actions of the executive branch, and for holding civil servants to account.
The experts stressed the value of participation, accountability and transparency in analysing public policies, foreseeing not only expected outcomes but also preparing for side-effects or unexpected consequences. Legislative bills before parliament should always include details of the financial impact and costs, even if a proposal has been already accepted by the relevant parliamentary committees.
The process of evaluation throws light not only on the likely outcomes of policies, but also on the workings of the administration, and the different roles and responsibilities of all those involved.