by Benjamin Cokelet, Founding Co-Executive Director, PODER— Mar 20, 2019
The power of transnational corporations and global economic and monetary institutions to influence national budgetary and financial decisions is overwhelming. Is it time for advocates to focus fiscal transparency and accountability efforts on the power of global capital?
by Didier Jacobs, Senior Policy Advisor, Oxfam America— Mar 06, 2019
Governments are engaged in a race to the bottom on corporate taxation. Tax rates are falling and tax incentives are multiplying. This is bad news when it comes to financing development. Citizens must demand transparency and accountability regarding tax incentives, and regional and global cooperation to set a floor under corporate tax rates.
by David Lewis, Executive Director, Corruption Watch— Jan 30, 2019
The relationship between declining democracy and burgeoning corruption, both the antithesis of fiscal accountability, raises some large and complex questions for the fiscal accountability community.
By Rebecca Warner, International Budget Partnership— Sep 26, 2017
The past 20 years of international efforts to curb corruption through reducing the openings for the misuse of public funds have led to the establishment of best practices in transparency and accountability, and the widespread creation of anti-corruption agencies within governments. Still, the economic cost of corruption remains enormous. “Transparency, Anti-Corruption, and Sustainable Development: Is Progress Possible?,” a recent event hosted by the Brookings Institution, brought together experts from international finance institutions, civil society, and the private sector to discuss past and current challenges in transparency and anti-corruption work.
by Ryan Flynn for the International Budget Partnership— Apr 19, 2017
When Freedom Forum, a civil society organization based in Nepal, decided to use the country’s Right to Information (RTI) laws to investigate special funds allocated to parliamentarians, they uncovered a vast array of wasteful projects. Such nebulous spending was being channeled through Nepal’s Constituency Development Funds (CDFs), mechanisms for allocating money from the national coffers for parliamentarians to spend in their local constituencies. Using Nepal’s Right to Information law to investigate CDFs, Freedom Forum painstakingly traced how money was being spent and projects were supposed to be administered. They then worked with investigative journalists to piece together a series of exposés revealing the misuse of public money.
By Vivek Ramkumar, International Budget Partnership— Nov 07, 2016
Supreme audit institutions (SAIs) are essential to accountable governance. Yet, as the Open Budget Survey has revealed time and again, SAIs face serious limitations in many countries. Audit reports are withheld from the public, hearings on audit findings take place behind closed doors, and findings are not acted upon. IBP recently convened a group of leading experts and practitioners from the field of government auditing to discuss how to make audits more impactful. The group came up with some bold new ideas for how auditors can better fulfil their crucial function of holding the powerful to account.
By Claire Schouten, International Budget Partnership— May 24, 2016
In the wake of the Panama Papers, which exposed the illicit finance industry, the United Kingdom hosted the first-ever Anti-Corruption Summit on May 12. As the dust settles, IBP reflects on what came of the discussions, and importantly, what happens next in terms of open budgets?
By Albert van Zyl, International Budget Partnership— Mar 07, 2016
In contrast to campaigns that are more inherently confrontational, social audits invest heavily in unpacking and decoding government budget policy and processes. They often start by examining official documents to understand what service delivery commitments the government has made and what viable counter proposals might look like. This is not to say that social audits can’t form part of larger campaigns that use a variety of tactics to get the government to respond. But this engagement is firmly rooted in the facts and figures that the government itself releases in official documents.
by Paolo de Renzio, International Budget Partnership— Feb 01, 2016
Without budget information it would be almost impossible for people outside government to spot and denounce cases of mismanagement and corruption. That’s why countries lacking transparency also tend to perform poorly on corruption indicators and, more generally, governance-related ones. As our research has shown, governments have a variety of motives for disclosing fiscal information that have little to do with the fight against corruption. And, for transparency to help tackle it, a number of additional factors need to be in place — from an active civil society, to an independent media, to effective oversight and accountability institutions.
May 14, 2014
This post was written by Ravi Duggal, Program Officer at the International Budget Partnership. Elections are underway in the world’s largest democracy. With over 800 million voters spanning 543 political constituencies, voting will last until mid-May. And transparency and accountability are shaping up to be key issues for voters. Turbulence in the last few years […]