Open Budget Survey 2019 :
Dominican Republic

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Contents
Transparency:
75
/100
(Open Budget Index score)
Public Participation:
31
/100
Budget Oversight:
57
/100

Government budget decisions – what taxes to levy, what services to provide, and how much debt to take on – affect how equal a society is and the well-being of its people, including whether the most disadvantaged will have real opportunities for a better life. It is critical that governments inform and engage the public on these vital decisions that impact their lives.

The Open Budget Survey (OBS) is the world’s only independent, comparative and fact-based research instrument that uses internationally accepted criteria to assess public access to central government budget information; formal opportunities for the public to participate in the national budget process; and the role of budget oversight institutions such as the legislature and auditor in the budget process.

The survey helps local civil society assess and confer with their government on the reporting and use of public funds. This 7th edition of the OBS covers 117 countries.

Transparency

This part of the OBS measures public access to information on how the central government raises and spends public resources. It assesses the online availability, timeliness, and comprehensiveness of eight key budget documents using 109 equally weighted indicators and scores each country on a scale of 0 to 100. A transparency score of 61 or above indicates a country is likely publishing enough material to support informed public debate on the budget.

The Dominican Republic has a transparency score of 75 (out of 100).

Transparency in Dominican Republic compared to others

Global Average
45
Mexico
82
Dominican Republic
75
Guatemala
65
Honduras
59
Costa Rica
57
El Salvador
46
Jamaica
42
Nicaragua
41
Trinidad and Tobago
30
0
Insufficient
61
Sufficient
100

Dominican Republic’s ranking: 12 of 117 countries

0
100

How has the transparency score for Dominican Republic changed over time?

14
2010
29
2012
51
2015
66
2017
75
2019
0
Insufficient
61
Sufficient
100

Public availability of budget documents in Dominican Republic

Available to the Public
Published Late, or Not Published Online, or Produced for Internal Use Only
Not Produced
Scroll
Document 2010 2012 2015 2017 2019
Pre-Budget Statement
Executive’s Budget Proposal
Enacted Budget
Citizens Budget
In-Year Reports
Mid-Year Review
Year-End Report
Audit Report

How comprehensive is the content of the key budget documents that Dominican Republic makes available to the public?

61-100 / 100
41-60 / 100
1-40 / 100
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Key budget document Document purpose and contents Fiscal year assessed Document content score
Pre-Budget Statement Discloses the broad parameters of fiscal policies in advance of the Executive's Budget Proposal; outlines the government's economic forecast, anticipated revenue, expenditures, and debt. 2019 61
Executive’s Budget Proposal Submitted by the executive to the legislature for approval; details the sources of revenue, the allocations to ministries, proposed policy changes, and other information important for understanding the country's fiscal situation. 2019 77
Enacted Budget The budget that has been approved by the legislature. 2019 100
Citizens Budget A simpler and less technical version of the government's Executive’s Budget Proposal or the Enacted Budget, designed to convey key information to the public. 2019 92
In-Year Reports Include information on actual revenues collected, actual expenditures made, and debt incurred at different intervals; issued quarterly or monthly. 2018 85
Mid-Year Review A comprehensive update on the implementation of the budget as of the middle of the fiscal year; includes a review of economic assumptions and an updated forecast of budget outcomes. 2018 78
Year-End Report Describes the situation of the government's accounts at the end of the fiscal year and, ideally, an evaluation of the progress made toward achieving the budget's policy goals. 2017 71
Audit Report Issued by the supreme audit institution, this document examines the soundness and completeness of the government's year-end accounts. 2017 38

The Dominican Republic’s transparency score of 75 in the 2019 OBS is moderately higher than its score in 2017.

What changed in 2019?

The Dominican Republic has increased the availability of budget information by:

Publishing the Pre-Budget Statement online.

Recommendations

The Dominican Republic should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:

Improve the comprehensiveness of the Audit Report.
Improve the comprehensiveness of information regarding fiscal risks, such as consolidated information on budgetary and extra-budgetary funds.

Public Participation

Transparency alone is insufficient for improving governance. Inclusive public participation is crucial for realizing the positive outcomes associated with greater budget transparency.

The OBS also assesses the formal opportunities offered to the public for meaningful participation in the different stages of the budget process. It examines the practices of the central government’s executive, the legislature, and the supreme audit institution (SAI) using 18 equally weighted indicators, aligned with the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency’s Principles of Public Participation in Fiscal Policy , and scores each country on a scale from 0 to 100.     

The Dominican Republic has a public participation score of 31 (out of 100).

Public participation in Dominican Republic compared to others

Global Average
14
Mexico
35
Guatemala
35
Dominican Republic
31
Honduras
17
El Salvador
13
Costa Rica
9
Jamaica
7
Nicaragua
7
Trinidad and Tobago
7
0
Insufficient
61
Sufficient
100

For more information, see here for innovative public participation practices around the world.

Extent of opportunities for public participation in the budget process

13
/100
Formulation
(executive)
55
/100
Approval
(legislature)
25
/100
Implementation
(executive)
78
/100
Audit
(supreme audit institution)

few: 0 - 40; limited: 41 - 60; adequate: 61 - 100

Recommendations

The Dominican Republic's Ministerio de Hacienda has established limited public consultations during budget formulation and e-consultations on the quality of public services of some state institutions during budget implementation but, to further strengthen public participation in the budget process, should also prioritize the following actions:

Expand mechanisms during budget formulation and implementation to include any civil society organization or member of the public that wishes to participate.
Actively engage with vulnerable and underrepresented communities, directly or through civil society organizations representing them.

The Dominican Republic's Congreso Nacional has held limited public hearings and submission related to the approval of the annual budget, but should also prioritize the following actions:

Formalize the existing participation mechanism "Foro Legislativo para el Desarrollo" to ensure public participation during legislative budget debates in the formulation and approval stages of the budget.
Allow members of the public or civil society organizations to testify during its hearings on the Audit Report.

Budget Oversight

The OBS also examines the role that legislatures and supreme audit institutions (SAIs) play in the budget process and the extent to which they provide oversight; each country is scored on a scale from 0 to 100 based on 18 equally weighted indicators. In addition, the survey collects supplementary information on independent fiscal institutions (see Box).

The legislature and supreme audit institution in the Dominican Republic, together, provide limited oversight during the budget process, with a composite oversight score of 57 (out of 100). Taken individually, the extent of each institution’s oversight is shown below:

Legislative oversight

0
56
100
limited

Audit oversight

0
61
100
adequate

weak: 0 - 40; limited: 41 - 60; adequate: 61 - 100

Recommendations

The Dominican Republic's Congreso Nacional provides limited oversight during the planning stage of the budget cycle and adequate oversight during the implementation stage. To make its oversight more effective, it should prioritize the following actions:

The legislature should debate budget policy before the Executive’s Budget Proposal is tabled and approve recommendations for the upcoming budget.
Legislative committees should examine the Executive’s Budget Proposal and publish reports with their analysis online.
A legislative committee should examine in-year budget implementation and publish reports with their findings online.
A legislative committee should examine the Audit Report and publish a report with their findings online.

To strengthen its independence and make budget oversight more effective, the Dominican Republic's Cámara de Cuentas should:

Ensure the supreme audit institution has adequate funding to perform its duties, as determined by an independent body (e.g., the legislature or judiciary).
Ensure audit processes are reviewed by an independent agency.

The emerging practice of establishing independent fiscal institutions

The Dominican Republic does not have an independent fiscal institution (IFI). IFIs are increasingly recognized as valuable independent and nonpartisan information providers to the Executive and/or Parliament during the budget process.

*These indicators are *not* scored in the Open Budget Survey.

Methodology

  • Only documents published and events, activities, or developments that took place through 31 December 2018 were assessed in the OBS 2019.
     
  • The survey is based on a questionnaire completed in each country by an independent budget expert:
    Laura Castillo
    Fundación Solidaridad
    Avenida Francia No. 40 Santiago, República Dominicana
    [email protected]
  • To further strengthen the research, each country’s draft questionnaire is also reviewed by an anonymous independent expert, and in the Dominican Republic by a representative of the Ministerio de Hacienda.

Other years