Government for Informed Citizens Obi


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“Government for Informed Citizens”
Ernesto Saboia, President, State of Accounts, Northern Brazil
Nandala Mafabi Nathan, Chairman, Public Accounts Committee, Parliament of Uganda
Tindamanyire Kabondo Gaudioso, Member of Parliament, Parliament of Uganda
Vivek Ramkumar, Manager, International Budget Partnership, Open Budget Initiative
In this session, participants will hear from different country specialists on what they are
doing to make government more transparent and to help citizens become more actively
involved in understanding the actions of government.

How do we keep citizens informed and restore their confidence?
How do we help citizens to understand the financial commitments, the
consequences and how they and their community will benefit overall?
What new media may be employed to promote citizen communications?

Published in: Economy & Finance, Business
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Government for Informed Citizens Obi

  1. 1. The Open Budget Survey 2008 Vivek Ramkumar Manager, Open Budget Initiative
  2. 2. What is the Open Budget Survey 2008? <ul><li>A comprehensive survey and analysis that evaluates whether national governments give the public </li></ul><ul><ul><li>access to budget information and opportunities to participate in the budget process, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the strength of formal oversight institutions such as legislatures and auditors. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It is independent and non-partisan and is managed by the IBP and implemented by researchers from the 85 countries surveyed. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Key Finding #1: Public Shut out of Budget Process in the Majority of Countries <ul><li>Only five countries provide extensive information on budgets to the public. </li></ul><ul><li>Forty-one of 85 countries provide only minimal, scant , or no information. </li></ul><ul><li>The budget approval stage is relatively more open than the formulation, execution and audit stages. </li></ul><ul><li>Low scoring countries often share similar characteristics, including regional locations, dependence on oil and gas exports and foreign aid, and weakness of democratic institutions. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Key Finding #2: Lack of Transparency is Compounded by Weak Oversight Institutions <ul><li>LEGISLATURE </li></ul><ul><li>Limited legal powers </li></ul><ul><li>Inadequate time to review budgets </li></ul><ul><li>SUPREME AUDIT INSTITUTION </li></ul><ul><li>Lack independence </li></ul><ul><li>Limited funding/resources </li></ul>
  5. 5. Key Finding #3: Budget Transparency Can Be Improved Quickly and at Little Cost <ul><li>Fifty-one of 85 countries already produce at least one and often several key budget documents that they do not make available to the public. </li></ul><ul><li>In 81 of the 85 countries surveyed, the Ministry of Finance has a functional website. </li></ul><ul><li>Eight countries have made significant progress on budget transparency since 2006. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Key Finding #4 Countries Showing Significant Improvements in Budget Transparency from OBI 2006 to OBI 2008 Country OBI 2006 OBI 2008 Change Comments Egypt 18 43 +25 Publication of Executive’s Budget Proposal Georgia 33 53 +20 Introduction of multi-year budgeting; Elimination of extra-budgetary funds Croatia 42 59 +17 Introduction of multi-year estimates; Publication of Citizens Budget Sri Lanka 47 64 +17 Preparation of 3-year budget projections Kenya 48 57 +9 Improvement in external audit; Increased citizen participation in budget process Nepal 36 43 +7 Reinstitution of Parliament after 2002 political crisis
  7. 7. Recommendations for Governments <ul><li>Publish documents that are already produced for internal use; </li></ul><ul><li>Disseminate budget information in forms and languages that are accessible to majority of population; </li></ul><ul><li>Institutionalize public engagement; </li></ul><ul><li>Expand opportunities for media coverage; and, </li></ul><ul><li>Build effective oversight systems by improving the capacity and independence of Legislatures and SAIs. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Recommendations for Donors <ul><li>Make transparent all forms of development assistance; </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid off-budget funding, where possible; </li></ul><ul><li>Support reforms for building effective public finance information systems; </li></ul><ul><li>Increase technical assistance and funding for Civil Society, Legislatures, and SAIs; and, </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct research on impact of donor aid on budget transparency . </li></ul>
  9. 9. Contact Information <ul><li>820 First Street, NE Suite 510 Washington, DC 20002 </li></ul><ul><li>Phone: +1-202-408-1080 </li></ul><ul><li>Fax: +1-202-408-8173 </li></ul><ul><li>Email: </li></ul>