Tajikistan—Support to Parliamentary Oversight of the Public Financial Management Process in the Tajikistan Parliament (SPFM)

Client: U.K. Department for International Development

Duration: 2015-2020

Region: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Country: Tajikistan

Solutions: Governance

Over the course of the 2000s, Tajikistan experienced steady growth and poverty reduction after a decade of civil war. Nonetheless, as the global financial crisis of 2008 hit this trend slowed, with a drop of 35 percent in remittance flows—a key source of income for the country. Against this backdrop, the Government of Tajikistan set out a new public finance management (PFM) reform strategy, an ambitious agenda closely tied to the country’s development strategies. The 2030 National Development Strategy reinforced calls for deeper PFM reforms, while the 2020 Mid-Term Development Programme emphasised the need to strengthen parliamentary oversight of the sector. The importance of ensuring robust scrutiny was as vital as ever.

The Support to Parliamentary Oversight of the Public Financial Management (SPFM) Process in the Tajikistan Parliament programme supports the national parliament, and specifically its Economics & Finance Committee (EFC), to enhance its role. When functioning effectively, parliament is a key part of the governance framework, operating at the intersection of citizen-state and executive-legislature relations, and providing a mechanism of checks and balances.

The national budget is often the clearest indication of a government’s policy priorities. Parliament is the space in which these can be assessed and, if necessary, challenged, to ensure fair and equitable provision for all citizens. More specifically, the EFC is central to ensuring scrutiny and assessment of government plans for expenditure through its activities.

SPFM is strengthening the Tajikistan Parliament’s ability to fulfil its oversight responsibilities more effectively, efficiently, and accountably with regard to the management of public finances.

Sample Activities

  • Training and advisory support to the EFC and other parliamentary committees to improve their capacity to conduct financial oversight.
  • Mentor the Secretariat to produce high-quality evidence-based research and analysis to support the EFC in carrying out its functions.
  • Work with civil society and media partners to implement citizen engagement mechanisms to improve parliamentary transparency and responsiveness.
  • Support broader engagement by the U.K. Department for International Development and the World Bank with the Tajik government on financial oversight and revenue management.

Select Results

  • Conducted training for 1,020 members of parliament, parliamentary staff, and representatives of local government, civil society groups, and the media on: the budget process, parliamentary oversight, pre-budget review, budget execution analysis, regulatory impact assessment, and budgetary impact assessment.
  • Held a successful conference on parliamentary financial oversight in 2017, a crucial step in obtaining buy-in.
  • Conducted a study tour to the United Kingdom on parliamentary financial oversight.
  • Contributed legislative amendments to Tajikistan’s Tax Code, the reform of which was approved by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan in February 2018. The amended legislation will improve tax administration processes, leading to a more equitable treatment of individual taxpayers, and support efforts to reduce corruption.
  • Developed a parliamentary oversight guide with Open Society Institute Tajikistan.
  • Developed a parliamentary handbook on the selection of budget projects.
  • Developed three methodological guides on regulatory impact assessment, budgetary impact assessment, and budget execution analysis.
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