The Role of Parliaments in the Budget Process

51 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2007 Last revised: 25 Feb 2010

See all articles by Riccardo Pelizzo

Riccardo Pelizzo

Nazarbayev University

David M. Olson

Professor David M. Olson

Rick Stapenhurst

McGill University - School of Continuing Studies

Date Written: 2005


This report comprises papers presented at a Roundtable on "The role of Parliaments in the Budget Process" at the Southern Political Science Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, USA, January 5-9, 2005.

In the first paper Joachim Wehner examines data from 43 countries to explain the different institutional arrangements to oversee the budget process. He argues that what determines the division of labor between the legislative and executive branch is not the presidential or parliamentarian mode of government, but the access to information, federalist structures and constitutional provisions affected by colonial rule. Zdenka Mansfeldová and Petra Rakušanová analyse the bargaining process in the legislature of the Czech Republic. Indeed over recent years, the budget process has undergone some great changes. Although the distribution of party-power in the Parliament and the Budget Committee remains of crucial importance, joining the European Union has led Parliament to seek a greater profile and strengthen its auditing functions, and professionalisation of the deputies on the Budgets Committee, has greatly increased the Committee's influence and prestige.

Carolyn Forestiere's and Riccardo Pelizzo's paper studies the role of the Italian parliament to examine how institutional and political conditions influence the legislative power over the budget. Drawing on institutional and party system theories, they argue that procedures and ideology provide the greatest incentives for parliaments to deviate from unilaterally supporting their governments during the passage of the national budget. Finally Barry Anderson's paper discusses the potential value of independent analytical budget units for the legislature in increasing the transparency, credibility and accountability of the budget process. After examining a couple of country specific cases, he comes to the conclusion that for them to successfully fulfill a set of core functions, such units need to be at least non-partisan, independent, and objective.

Keywords: Parliament, Legislature, Budget Process, Israel, Budget Office, Italy, Czech Republic

Suggested Citation

Pelizzo, Riccardo and Olson, David M. and Stapenhurst, Rick, The Role of Parliaments in the Budget Process (2005). Available at SSRN: or

Riccardo Pelizzo (Contact Author)

Nazarbayev University ( email )

53 Kabanbay Batyra Avenue
Astana, 010000

David M. Olson

Professor David M. Olson ( email )

P.O.Box 26170
Greensboro, NC 27412
United States
336 334 4360 (Phone)
336 334 4315 (Fax)

Rick Stapenhurst

McGill University - School of Continuing Studies ( email )

Montreal, QC

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