Contents
Transparency:
50
/100
(Open Budget Index score)
Public Participation:
7
/100
Budget Oversight:
30
/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.

Papua New Guinea has a transparency score of 50 (out of 100).

Transparency in Papua New Guinea compared to others

Global Average
45
New Zealand
87
Australia
79
Japan
62
South Korea
62
Papua New Guinea
50
Fiji
39
China
19
0
Insufficient
61
Sufficient
100

Papua New Guinea’s ranking: 48 of 117 countries

0
100

How has the transparency score for Papua New Guinea changed over time?

57
2010
56
2012
55
2015
50
2017
50
2019
0
Insufficient
61
Sufficient
100

Public availability of budget documents in Papua New Guinea

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 Papua New Guinea 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 95
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 64
Enacted Budget The budget that has been approved by the legislature. 2018 Published Late
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 Not Produced
In-Year Reports Include information on actual revenues collected, actual expenditures made, and debt incurred at different intervals; issued quarterly or monthly. 2018 Not Produced
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 85
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 50
Audit Report Issued by the supreme audit institution, this document examines the soundness and completeness of the government's year-end accounts. 2016 Not Produced

Papua New Guinea’s transparency score of 50 in the OBS 2019 is largely the same as its score in 2017.

What changed in OBS 2019?

Papua New Guinea has increased the availability of budget information by:

Publishing the Pre-Budget Statement online in a timely manner.
However, Papua New Guinea has decreased the availability of budget information by:
Failing to publish the Enacted Budget online in a timely manner.

Recommendations

Papua New Guinea should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:

Publish the Enacted Budget online within three months of enactment.
Produce and publish a Citizens Budget, In-Year Reports, and the Audit Report of the government's financial statements online in a timely manner.
Include in the Executive's Budget Proposal an explanation of how the government's proposed policies, both new and existing, are related to the budget allocations and details of domestic and international borrowing, including interest rates and maturity profile.
Include in the Year-End Report performance and macroeconomic information.

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 Policies , and scores each country on a scale from 0 to 100.

Papua New Guinea has a public participation score of 7 (out of 100).

Public participation in Papua New Guinea compared to others

Global Average
14
South Korea
61
New Zealand
54
Australia
41
Fiji
22
Japan
20
Papua New Guinea
7
China
0
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

20
/100
Formulation
(executive)
0
/100
Approval
(legislature)
0
/100
Implementation
(executive)
0
/100
Audit
(supreme audit institution)

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

Recommendations

Papua New Guinea's Department of Treasury has established public consultations during budget formulation but, to further strengthen public participation in the budget process, should also prioritize the following actions:

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

Papua New Guinea's National Parliament should prioritize the following actions:

Hold public hearings on the budget proposal and allow members of the public or civil society organizations to attend and testify during these hearings.
Ensure that the Public Accounts Committee holds public hearings on the Audit Report and allow members of the public or civil society organizations to attend and testify.

Papua New Guinea's Auditor General's Office should prioritize the following actions to improve public participation in the budget process:

Establish formal mechanisms for the public to assist in developing its audit program and to contribute to relevant audit investigations.

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 Papua New Guinea, together, provide weak oversight during the budget process, with a composite oversight score of 30 (out of 100). Taken individually, the extent of each institution’s oversight is shown below:

Legislative oversight

0
28
100
weak

Audit oversight

0
33
100
weak

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

Recommendations

Papua New Guinea's National Parliament provides weak oversight during the planning stage of the budget cycle and weak oversight during the implementation stage. To improve oversight, the following actions should be prioritized:

The legislature should debate budget policy before the Executive’s Budget Proposal is tabled and approve recommendations for the upcoming budget.
The Executive’s Budget Proposal should be submitted to legislators at least two months before the start of the budget year.
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.
In practice, ensure the legislature is consulted before the executive shifts funds specified in the Enacted Budget between administrative units or reduces spending due to revenue shortfalls during the budget year.
A legislative committee should examine the Audit Report and publish a report with their findings online.

To strengthen independence and improve audit oversight by Papua New Guinea's Auditor General's Office, the following actions are recommended:

Parliament and the Government should improve the appointment process for the Auditor General's Office, through an amendment to the Constitution for the Auditor General to be appointed through an independent process, such as the Governor General acting on the advice of a Constitutional appointment committee composed from the judiciary, legislature, and other independent Constitutional Office holders.
The Auditor General’s Office should be provided adequate funding to perform its duties, as determined by an independent body such as Parliament or a Parliamentary Committee.
Ensure audit processes are reviewed by an independent agency.

The emerging practice of establishing independent fiscal institutions

Papua New Guinea 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:
    Paul Barker
    Institute of National Affairs
    P. O. Box 1530 Port Moresby, NCD, Papua New Guinea
    [email protected]
  • To further strengthen the research, each country’s draft questionnaire is also reviewed by an anonymous independent expert, and in Papua New Guinea by a representative of the Department of Treasury.

 

Other years