The OECD Review of Budget Oversight by Parliament: Ireland - which reviews the strengths and weaknesses of Ireland’s system of parliamentary engagement in budgeting - finds that, as matters stand, most stakeholders do not consider that the Houses of the Oireachtas engages with the budget process in a meaningful or impactful way.
The report contains a series of suggestions and proposals to strengthen the existing level of parliamentary engagement in the budget process. These proposals include procedural changes, the provision of enhanced information and increased institutional support for parliamentarians.
A key recommendation is for the creation of an Irish Parliamentary Budget Office to provide specialist analytical support to parliamentarians so that they can carry out a more effective oversight and scrutiny role. Other notable recommendations include shifting the focus away from traditional Estimates hearings, where committees have no power to influence matters, in favour of pre-budget hearings and performance hearings.