The Open Budget Survey 2010
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What are the Benefits of Budget Transparency? PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Open Budget Survey 2010 Paolo de Renzio Senior Research Fellow IBP East African Conference on Budget Transparency and Accountability 23-25 May 2011. What are the Benefits of Budget Transparency?. Promotes engagement and accountability Enhances legitimacy and credibility of policy choices

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What are the Benefits of Budget Transparency?

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The Open Budget Survey 2010Paolo de RenzioSenior Research Fellow IBPEast African Conference on Budget Transparency and Accountability23-25 May 2011

What are the Benefits of Budget Transparency?

  • Promotes engagement and accountability

  • Enhances legitimacy and credibility of policy choices

  • Improves effectiveness and efficiency of implementation

  • Reduces opportunities for corruption/leakages and controls wasteful spending

  • Attracts investment and reduces cost of borrowing

What is the Open Budget Survey?

  • A comprehensive assessment that evaluates:

    • public availability and content of eight key budget documents, and opportunities to participate in the budget process

    • Role and strength of formal oversight institutions – national legislatures and external auditors

  • Based on guidelines developed by the IMF, OECD, INTOSAI, and the IBP, but different from both IMF ROSCs and PEFA assessments

  • 2010 Survey covers 94 countries (27 African), up from 85 countries in 2008 and 59 countries in 2006.

Rigorous Survey Methodology

Data quality assured through five-step process:

  • Survey completed by independent expert country researcher

  • Peer reviews provided by two anonymous expert reviewers in each country

  • IBP checks on internal consistency and accuracy against publicly available data

  • Government review (optional)

  • IBP referees differences in answers between researchers and reviewers

Key Finding #1: Major Gaps in Budget Transparency Worldwide

  • Governments publish less than half of the required budget data (Average score 42/100, 28/100 for Africa)

  • Only 20 of the 94 countries provide their citizens with comprehensive budget data (only South Africa included).

  • 40 countries publish minimalor no budget information; 21 countries do not publish the budget proposal.

  • Published budget documents often lack essential information (e.g., data on poverty programs, extra-budgetary funds, contingent liabilities).

Major Gaps Worldwide (cont.)

  • Public availability of certain budget reports is particularly poor (Pre-Budget and Mid-Year Reports).

  • Some published reports typically lack comprehensiveness (Year-End and Audit Report).

  • Low-scoring countries often share similar characteristics, such as dependence on extractive industries and/or aid, weak democratic institutions and administrative heritage.

  • However, none of these factors predetermine performance — there are countries with each of these groups that perform better.


Major Gaps Worldwide (cont.)

Key Finding #2: Significant Improvements In Previously Low-Scoring Countries

  • Average score for 40 countries improved 9 points from 2006 to 2010.

  • 20 countries improved by more than 10 points. Most substantial improvements in Africa: Liberia (+37 points), Egypt (+30 points), and Uganda (+23 points)

  • Sustainability and deterioration:

    • Scores still very low for many improvers

    • Some countries deteriorated overall – Niger

    • Publication of individual documents often not sustained

Why Did Improvements Occur?

  • Changes in government after elections or the appointment of a new official committed to greater transparency

  • Internal pressure from within a country from legislatures and civil society organizations

  • External pressure exerted by donors and from specific initiatives like HIPC and the OBI

  • Technical assistance provided to countries by donors

Key Finding #3: Lack of Transparency Compounded by Weak Oversight Institutions


    • Inadequate legal powers and time to review the budget

    • Limited powers to approve and monitor modifications of the enacted budget during budget execution


    • Lack of independence

    • Limited funding/resources

  • Institutions not maximizing use of existing powers and resources to involve citizens

Recommendations - Short term

  • Governments can improve budget transparency immediately and at low cost

  • Budget documents should be widely available for free and on a timely basis.

  • Countries should publish all the budget documents they already produce for internal purposes or donors.

  • This offers opportunities for immediate, low-cost, substantial improvements.

Availability of Key Budget Documents

Recommendations – Short Term (cont.)

  • Legislatures and SAIs should make better use of current resources and powers

  • Provide the public with opportunities to attend and testify during budget discussions in legislatures;

  • Hold public consultations during the development, execution, and publication of audits by SAIs; and

  • Partner with CSOs and universities to improve access to analysts and communities

  • .

Recommendations - Medium Term

1. Donors should promote budget transparency and engagement

  • Improve transparency of aid flows and compatibility with country budget systems

  • Emphasize transparency and engagement in all PFM reforms

  • Strengthen linkages between transparency performance and aid modalities

  • Increase parallel support to oversight institutions and CSOs

  • Use OBI to diagnose problems and target country reforms

    2.Global norms on budget transparency and participation should be established


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Phone: +1-202-408-1080

Fax: +1-202-408-8173

Email: [email protected]

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