Parliaments discuss improving accountability

GIS:-A Two-Day Conference in Trinidad and Tobago Focused on Cultivating A Culture of Transparency.

Independent Sen. Mauricia Francis-Thomas recently attended a two-day conference in Trinidad and Tobago.

Senator Francis-Thomas, along with Speaker of the House of Assembly Hon. Leone Theodore-John, represented Saint Lucia at the conference which brought together parliamentarians from across the region. The thrust of the conference was to dialogue on how parliaments across the region can strengthen accountability through transparency.

Sen. Thomas said the conference was enlightening and educational.

“We explored how transparency and accountability can be improved through independent financial analysis; we also discussed at length, the challenges which exist due to the information asymmetry which exist between executive and legislative branches and explored ways of overcoming such challenges.”

According to Sen. Thomas, the conference also looked at existing gaps between accessibility and the availability of information throughout the parliamentary financial cycle, and explored opportunities for greater openness and improvements to allow parliament to better achieve its role.

“Also, we explored opportunities to engage the citizens and promote their active participation in the legislative process to ensure inclusive participative and representative decision-making. We considered all the stakeholders—especially the youth—and of course the private sector.”

The senator said she will submit a more detailed report on the conference so that all parliaments will have an opportunity to benefit from the information.