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Groups Doing Budget Work in Canada

Canada Open Budget Survey Results

Open Budget Survey 2017

Country Summary Questionnaire


out of 100
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Public Participation


out of 100
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Budget Oversight


out of 100
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IBP considers countries that score above 60 on the Open Budget Index as providing sufficient budget information to enable the public to engage in budget discussions in an informed manner. IBP considers countries scoring above 60 on participation and oversight as providing adequate opportunities for the public to participate in the budget process and providing adequate oversight practices, respectively.

Transparency (Open Budget Index)


out of 100

Canada provides the public with substantial budget information.

How Does Canada's Open Budget Index Score Compare?

In the Open Budget Survey 2017, this country is being assessed for the first time.

Recommendations for Improving Transparency

Canada should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:

  • Produce and publish a Citizens Budget.
  • Present expenditures by functional and economic classifications compatible with international standards and provide more detail for multi-year expenditure estimates in the Executive’s Budget Proposal.
  • Provide more information on the government’s liabilities and the sustainability of its finances over the longer term in the Executive’s Budget Proposal.
  • Increase the information provided in In-Year Reports and the Mid-Year Review.

Public Participation


out of 100

Canada provides few opportunities for the public to engage in the budget process.

How Does Public Participation Compare to Other Countries in the Region?

Global Average 12/100
United Kingdom 57/100
Canada 39/100
United States 22/100
France 17/100
Germany 17/100
Norway 17/100
Sweden 17/100
Portugal 15/100
Italy 7/100
Spain 2/100
Recommendations for Improving Participation

Canada should prioritize the following actions to improve public participation in its budget process:

  • Pilot mechanisms for members of the public to provide input into monitoring the implementation of the national budget.
  • Hold legislative hearings on the Audit Report, during which members of the public or civil society organizations can testify.
  • Establish formal mechanisms for the public to participate in relevant audit investigations.

Budget Oversight (by Legislature & Audit)


out of 100

The legislature and supreme audit institution in Canada provide limited oversight of the budget.

To What Extent Does the Legislature Provide Budget Oversight?

Formulation/Approval 29/100
Execution/Audit 80/100

The legislature provides limited oversight during the budget cycle. This score reflects that the legislature provides weak oversight during the planning stage of the budget cycle and adequate oversight during the implementation stage of the budget cycle.

To What Extent Does the Supreme Audit Institution Provide Budget Oversight?

Adequate 72/100

The supreme audit institution provides adequate budget oversight.

Recommendations for Improving Oversight

Canada should prioritize the following actions to make budget oversight more effective:

  • Ensure the Executive’s Budget Proposal is provided to legislators at least two months before the start of the budget year and that the budget proposal and the Main Estimates are better aligned.
  • Ensure a legislative committee examines in-year budget implementation and publishes a report presenting its findings and recommendations.
  • Ensure that the Audit Report is published six months or less after the end of the budget year, which would allow legislators to scrutinize the prior year’s outcomes before voting on the new budget.

Learn More

The information on this page presents a partial country summary. For more detailed information, please download:

This country is not currently included in the Open Budget Survey.