OECD economists and budget experts to gather at Holyrood on 6 April

05.04.2017

Some of the OECD’s most influential economists are to gather in Holyrood’s chamber this week to discuss how parliaments across the world can better scrutinise government budgets and economic and fiscal forecasts.

The ninth Annual Meeting of the OECD Network of Parliamentary Budget Officials and Independent Fiscal Institutions will take place on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 April - media and public access details are below, including a Q&A session for university students and the public. 

The conference is a gathering of more than one hundred financial experts from across the globe, from the independent bodies whose role it is to scrutinise the tax and spending plans of governments and to produce independent economic and fiscal forecasts.

The conference’s opening ceremony, at 9am on Thursday, will include a keynote speech from Alice M Rivlin, who was the founding director of the United States’ Congressional Budget Office in 1975, and served in the first Clinton administration, as Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Lady Susan Rice, Chair of the Scottish Fiscal Commission, and Robert Chote, Chairman of the UK’s Office for Budget Responsibility will also attend the conference.

Scottish Parliament Deputy Presiding Officer Christine Grahame MSP, who will chair the opening ceremony said:

“By hosting this conference, we hope to raise and embed the profile of the Scottish Parliament amongst some of the OECD’s most influential economists.

“Holyrood’s own Financial Scrutiny Unit already has well-developed links with its counterparts across the globe. This conference is a rich opportunity to develop these links further. This will pay dividends in enhancing our own in-house capacity for analysing government budgets and tax and spending plans.

Thursday 6 April

Opening ceremony, debating chamber, Scottish Parliament

09:00 Deputy Presiding Officer Christine Grahame welcomes delegates to the chamber.

09:20 Deputy Presiding Officer introduces Lady Susan Rice, Scottish Fiscal Commission to make plenary address “Good Things Come in Threes: The Scottish Fiscal Commission Comes of Age”

09:30 Deputy Presiding Officer introduces Alice Rivlin, First Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), United States to make Keynote address “Coping with Change at an Independent Fiscal Institution”

10:00 Group photo taken in Debating Chamber, and close.

The Parliament’s public and media galleries will be open as normal during the conference’s opening ceremony. Proceedings will also be webcast on Parliament TV - link. Conference breakout sessions thereafter will be closed, private events.

Public Q&A Session

10:30-11:30 - Alice M Rivlin will do a Q&A session for economics students from Scottish universities and members of the public in Committee Room 1.

Members of the public and media are welcome to attend.

For public access details contact Parliament’s Visitor Services

For media access, contact Parliament’s Media Relations Office - 0131 348 6852, or email: mediarelations@parliament.scot

Background information:

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The OECD's origins date back to 1960, when 18 European countries plus the United States and Canada joined forces to create an organisation dedicated to economic development. Today, their 35 Member countries span the globe, from North and South America to Europe and Asia-Pacific. They include many of the world’s most advanced countries but also emerging countries like Mexico, Chile and Turkey.

The OECD also works closely with emerging economies like the People's Republic of China, India and Brazil and developing economies in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Together, their goal continues to be to build a stronger, cleaner and fairer world.

OECD Network of Parliamentary Budget Officials and Independent Fiscal Institutions (PBO)

The Network works on improving parliamentary scrutiny of the budget process and the evolving role of Independent Fiscal Institutions (IFIs). It brings together senior staff from parliaments, PBOs and fiscal councils to:

• Debate substantive budgeting issues.
• Share practical experiences on working methods.
• Profile new institutions and significant changes in the mandates of older institutions.
• Identify good practices and contributes to standard setting.