Jean Ross, Independent Consultant— Jan 11, 2018
The need for timely, accessible information on tax expenditures is critical as countries around the world seek to strengthen domestic tax systems to meet the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals and the need for domestic resources. The Open Budget Survey 2017 will provide an important indication of how governments are responding to this challenge and whether budget experts within governments and civil society will have the information they need to be informed participants in critical policy debates.
Vivek Ramkumar, Senior Director of Policy, International Budget Partnership— Aug 01, 2017
Nearly every country in the world has a functional supreme audit institution that is mandated with checking whether public funds are being managed properly and in line with sound financial management practices. However, audit reports seldom receive the level of popular scrutiny that they deserve. Fortunately, supreme audit institutions are increasingly recognizing the need to engage with citizens, which has the potential to transform the way in which the public views their work.
Delaine McCullough, Communications Manager, International Budget Partnership— Jun 13, 2017
Estimates of the funds that must be mobilized globally for an adequate response to climate change amount to hundreds of billions of dollars per year. Although funds will be coming from both international and domestic private and public sources, much of the climate change efforts will be managed by national and subnational governments through their domestic budgeting systems. To ensure that the scarce resources invested in climate-related activities are spent most effectively and reach the intended beneficiaries — the people and communities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change — with minimum leakages, transparency and accountability will be essential.
by Daniel Baksa, David Mihalyi, and Balazs Romhanyi— Mar 28, 2017
When optimism fuels public spending and earnings fail to materialize, a country can quickly find itself in fiscal crisis. Civil society has a crucial role to play in ensuring government policies are sustainable, yet interrogating the assumptions underlying budget decisions can be dauntingly complex. For this reason the Natural Resource Government Institute and the Fiscal Responsibility Institute Budapest have developed a tool to help potential watchdogs grapple with these complexities.
By by Albert van Zyl, International Budget Partnership South Africa— Feb 23, 2017
Civil society can play an important accountability role throughout the budget process, from formulation to enactment then implementation and audit. Early in the process, civil society organizations can inform the public about the government’s proposals for raising and spending public money and can offer a critical voice that places the proposals in the social and economic context of the country and challenges questionable assumptions. On 22 February 2017 the South African Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan delivered the annual budget speech upon tabling the Executive’s Budget Proposal in parliament. As an example of how CSOs can engage in this stage of the process, IBP South Africa responded with the following assessment of the proposal.
by Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Samarthan— Apr 25, 2016
Samarthan, a civil society organization and IBP partner, works in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh to address social development issues by strengthening grassroots civil society groups. One of the ways the group does so is through the People’s Budget Initiative (PBI), a large national network of CSOs that work together to influence budget policy. Those who are marginalized and poor need a louder voice and more representation in policy discourse, particularly how public resources are used. In March, 2016, the Madhya Pradesh government presented the budget for financial year 2016-17, which Samarthan and PBI have been working hard to influence, but translating what’s on paper into positive outcomes for the poor and marginalized requires constant vigilance and reassessment.
by Emina Gljiva, Foundation CPI— Oct 28, 2015
For the CPI Foundation, addressing the low levels of budget literacy in Bosnia and Herzegovina is an urgent challenge. To capture the public’s attention, and underline the importance of budgets, they installed a digital counter displaying how much public money the government is spending. Located on a busy street at the heart of the capital Sarajevo, the counter gives a second-by-second update of expenditure across all central budgets in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
By Delaine McCullough, International Budget Partnership— Sep 09, 2015
The latest round of the Open Budget Survey — the world’s only independent, comparative assessment of budget transparency, participation, and formal oversight — reveals the vast majority of countries surveyed have inadequate systems for ensuring that public funds are used efficiently and effectively. Of the 102 countries assessed, 98 fall short on at least one of the three core pillars of budget accountability: transparency, participation, or oversight. A concerning 32 countries fall short on all three pillars. This lack of strong budget accountability systems pose a threat to the implementation of critical international agreements such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the international agreement expected to come from the 2015 Paris Climate Conference.
By IBP, essays from the 2014 Annual Report— Jun 23, 2015
Our Open Budget Survey Tracker findings have revealed a complex pattern in which improvements in budget transparency are not always sustained by governments and indicate that IBP and other proponents of open budgeting need to better understand the incentives governments face not only for becoming more transparent but also for maintaining and sustaining improvements.
By Rocio Campos, International Budget Partnership— Mar 10, 2015
Salvadoran workers have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in interest that the government should have paid on state pensions, according to a recent decision handed down by El Salvador’s Supreme Court of Justice. Despite interest rates on private savings averaging around 7 percent, the government has paid just 1 percent interest on public pension savings. Between 2007 and 2013 alone, this would have meant an additional USD 930 million being paid into the state pension system.