Overall and Rational
The FACT-2 program of PCAsia arranged two study visits to two PBO in the region: (1) the Philippines Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department and, (2) the Budget Review Center of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia. The missions aimed to increase the capacity of the FACT trainees and the Cambodian Senate’s Budget Research Department (BRD) by learning from the practical experiences of the budget offices in supporting the legislative budget process. The study missions are a complement to the class room training provided by the program as it offered opportunities for the teams to meet with analysts in other countries and observe the PBO’s in actions. This will also introduce them to their peers for future projects and collaboration.
Mission to the Philippines
The mission to the Philippines Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD) took place between 7-11 November 2022. There were 12 participants – seven of whom were from the Senate of Cambodia including the BRD Director and the General Direct of Research, three from the National Assembly of Cambodia, one from the National Assembly of Laos PDR and one FACT instructor from PCAsia.
During the visit, the delegation was warmly welcomed by the CPBRD staff. The mission began with a tour of the House of Representative compound. This was followed by two curtesy calls to the Deputy Secretary Generals Mr. Dante Roberto P. Maling and Dr. Ramon Ricardo A. Roque. Both deputy secretary generals welcomed the delegation and expressed their appreciation and congratulation on the achievements of PIC and PCAsia. Next, the participants attended a webinar provided by the University of the Philippines on Dignified Ageing in the Philippines and to observe the plenary session. A knowledge sharing session was scheduled on the third day of the mission. Eight presentations were made by the staff of CPBRD to share technical knowledge and experiences regarding the operation of the CPBRD and their publications. The presentations covered various topics ranging from macroeconomic perspectives, budget process, taxation, fiscal framework and database management. The trainees showed strong interest in the subjects by asking a number of critical questions. The fourth day of the mission was a reflection session where the FACT trainees and the BRD staff reviewed and evaluated activities, learning outcomes and findings of the mission. The mission was completed successfully and the trainees as well as BRD staff gained considerable technical inputs regarding the operation of the CPBRD.
Mission to Indonesia
The mission to the Budget Review Center of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia took place between 14-18 November 2022. There were 13 participants – eight of whom were from the Senate of Cambodia including the director and technical staff members of the Budget Research Department, four from the National Assembly of Cambodia, and the FACT program manager.
During the mission, the delegation made a curtesy call to Dr. Inosentius Samsul, S.H., M. Hum – the Head of Parliamentary Expertise Agency at the Nusantara. The dialogue exchanges were on the objective of the study mission and the operations of the Parliamentary Expertise Agency and its staff’s participation in various training programs of PCAsia. Following this, the participants toured the House of Representatives. Later that day, the delegation was invited to observe a Committee meeting session. A knowledge sharing session took place on the third day of the mission. The morning session consisted of three presentations – one of which was on the Indonesia’s Budget Review Center followed by a presentation on the background of the FACT-2 training program and the Cambodian Senate Budget Research Department. In the afternoon, the Budget Review Center provided two presentations covering: (1) Budget structure, budget cycle, and Macroeconomic assumptions; and (2) Indonesian fiscal policy. A number of questions were raised by the trainees regarding the subjects presented while the head and the participants from the Budget Review Center asked a number of questions to BRD’s director regarding their operations. On the fourth day, all trainees attended the team reflection workshop to review and evaluate activities, learning outcomes and findings of the mission. The mission was successfully completed on schedule.