The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) on 31st January 2017 convened a training workshop for different Parliamentary Committee Members and staff at the Members lounge in Parliament. The training was held to equip the Members of Parliament with the scorecard used for assessing Budget Frame work Papers (BFPs) and Ministerial Policy Statements (MPSs) and how to discern issues of gender and equity in budgets since they are responsible for approving them.
Among the MPs who attended the training was Hon. Margret Komuhangi- Chairperson of the Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon Jacob Opolot MP Pallisa district, Hon. Justine Ayebazibwe, Hon. James Waluswaka – MP Butaleja district, Hon. Doreen K Kemirembe – Woman MP Lyantonde district, Hon. Aboud Kittata – MP western Bukoto Lwengo district and many more.
Members of Parliament introducing themselves at the start of the training.
The EOC was represented by the Chairperson – Mrs. Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi, Member Zaminah Malole, Mr. Evans Jjemba – Principal Compliance and Reporting Officer, Mr. Manasseh Kwihangana – Senior Compliance Officer, Mrs. Becky Twiine, Mr. John Mary Kisembo – Internal Auditor, Ms. Jesca Kaahwa – Senior Personal Secretary and Ms. Betty Namazzi – volunteer.
In her speech, Mrs. Ntambi expressed gratitude to the MPs who attended the training and informed them about the Pubic Finance Management Act (PFMA) which mandates the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to certify Budget Framework Papers, the National Budget and Ministerial Policy Statements which are gender and equity responsive in consultation with the Equal Opportunities Commission. She went ahead and informed them that the training was convened to sensitize them about the importance of Gender and Equity Budgeting and Planning, the assessment Score Card for the Budget Framework Papers (BFPs) and Ministerial Policy Statements (MPSs) for FY 2017/2018 as well as share the assessment findings of BFPs for FY 2017/2018.
This was followed by a presentation on the legal policy framework for EOC, its background, mandate, background to Gender and equity planning and budgeting, Compliance of sectors and MDAs to G&E PFMA provisions and the legislative role of EOC in the implementation of G&E provisions in PFMA 2015.
Mrs. Becky Twiine made a presentation on the assessment of the BFP score card for the FY 2017/2018. This highlighted various key aspects on the assessment score card which included the PBB Model in respect to G&E, G&E expectations with Respect to BFP Structure and Gender and Equity Issues Identified in NDP II.
The presentation on the summary findings from the assessment of BFPs for the FY 2017/2018 was made by Mr. Evans Jemba. MPs were taken through the areas of focus that were considered in the G&E assessment 2017/2018 which included Sector contribution to Inclusive Growth, Sector Objective to G&E FY 2017/2018, Sector Outcomes for the FY 2017/2018, Key Performance Issues FY 2016/2017, Past performance and Medium Term G&E interventions 2017/2018-2019/2020.
In response to the presentation, MPs raised concerns which among others included request for proof of statistics of schools in Kalangala district as indicated in EOC’s findings, whether the Commisson conducts sensitisation trainings for all MDAs and sectors, if the Commission monitors implimentation of the the gender and equity issues highlighted in the BFPs and MPSs and they noted that assessment of BFPs was already conducted which limited their input. All the concerns raised were addressed by the EOC.
The training was a success since the MPs clearly understood the content which was shared and they encouraged EOC to organise other training sessions so as to keep them informed and guide their decisiion making.