Are balanced budgets still necessary in the fight against global recession and poverty?

Nov 11, 2010

post prepared by Andy Wynne of Most OECD countries are now running significant budget deficits in an attempt to ensure a rapid end to the global recession.  The Managing Director of the IMF, Dominique Srauss-Khan, praised the G20 countries for adopting the fiscal stimulus that was needed, whilst warning that more may be required. The IMF […]

Does budget transparency flatter to deceive? Evidence from Brazil

Nov 04, 2010

Does budget transparency flatter to deceive? Arguing that the public has a right to information about government finances is fairly easy. One can use tax payer status, Bills of Rights etc to do this. But more and more questions are being asked about what budget transparency is good for. Researchers often find it hard to […]

“Please, sir, can I have some more?” What happened when activists from 80 countries asked their governments for more budget information

Nov 01, 2010

What happened when activists from 84 countries asked their governments for more budget information? The Open Budget Survey documents what budget information is routinely made available by governments. But what happens when the public asks for budget information that is not routinely released? The International Budget Partnership, Access Info Europe, and the Centre for Law and Democracy […]

How can South Africa rank first in a Transparency Survey?

Oct 27, 2010

South Africa the most transparent? Really? Some may find it hard to understand South Africa’s first place amongst 94 countries in the 2010 Open Budget Survey. This is a country that is drafting draconian secrecy legislation. Or where the President is very coy about declaring his financial assets. Further back this is the same government […]

What is ‘publicly available’ budget information?

Oct 26, 2010

This deceptively simple question is in reality quite complex. For budget information to be of value to the public, it must be available to them and it should be available soon enough to be of use to them. Why? Late and hidden information prevents the public from participating in these decisions. So to be considered […]

Chad, Fiji and Niger: No democracy = weak institutions = low budget transparency

Oct 25, 2010

Political instability in Fiji, Niger and Chad made these three countries OBI scores decline the most of 94 countries in the 2010 Open Budget Survey: Niger’s OBI slipped from 26 to 3 because the Executive’s Budget Proposal and Year-End Report, which were previously made available to the public, are no longer published. Fiji’s OBI decreased from […]

When the voice of the People won’t speak: Legislatures, Auditors & Budget Transparency

Oct 22, 2010

One of the most disappointing findings of the 2010 Open Budget Survey is that oversight institutions are as closed to the public as most executives. More than a third of legislatures surveyed even exclude the media from budget discussions with the executive. National audit bodies do no better. Almost two thirds of supreme audit institutions […]

3 Budget Transparency Fairy Tales: Afghanistan, Liberia and Mongolia

Oct 21, 2010

The Open Budget Survey 2010 identifies 3 unlikely budget transparency Cindarellas in Afghanistan, Liberia and Mongolia. While the stroke of midnight may still reverse their fragile gains, these 3 poor countries have shown how rapidly budget transparency can be improved. In this post we present some extracts from the 2010 OBS report that describe their […]

Governments could easily be more transparent: Key findings of the Open Budget Survey

Oct 20, 2010

The 2010 Open Budget Survey finds that: Budget transparency is generally improving, The overall state of transparency remains poor, That  dramatic improvements could made if governments simply released information that they already have at their disposal. The Survey’s key findings follow below. Read more detail here. If you are interested in detailed information about specific countries, […]

Why you should read the Open Budget Survey 2010

Oct 19, 2010

The IBP launched the 2010 Open Budget Survey yesterday.  A few things for you to look at: Key findings Country Rankings A Press Release And why should YOU read it? According to Chairman Howard Berman, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives: “Democracy works best when citizens have accurate information about public finances and […]