The accountability of the Office for Budget Responsibility to Parliament
The Parliament and Government programme has given evidence to the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee inquiry on the arrangements for the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).
We recommend that Parliament should seek to ensure that it both holds the OBR to account but also makes use of its resources and expertise. Specifically we recommend that:
- The Treasury Committee should hold pre-appointment hearings and possess a veto power for the appointment of all members of the Budget Responsibility Committee, not just for the appointment of the Chair of the Office for Budget Responsibility.
- Consideration should be given to whether there is scope for broadening the OBR remit to enable Parliament itself (through perhaps the Treasury Committee or the Liaison Committee) to request/commission independent evaluations of government policy, within carefully agreed parameters, in respect of economic and public finance forecasting.
- Mechanisms should be established to ensure that OBR reports are debated annually in the House of Commons, in either government or backbench time.
The evidence can be read in full here
, and a copy of the Treasury Committee's final report can be accessed here