Contents
Transparency:
39
/100
(Open Budget Index score)
Public Participation:
15
/100
Budget Oversight:
65
/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.

Rwanda has a transparency score of 39 (out of 100).

Transparency in Rwanda compared to others

Global Average
45
Uganda
58
Kenya
50
Madagascar
40
Rwanda
39
Tanzania
17
South Sudan
7
Burundi
6
Somalia
3
Comoros
0
0
Insufficient
61
Sufficient
100

Rwanda’s ranking: 73 of 117 countries

0
100

How has the transparency score for Rwanda changed over time?

11
2010
8
2012
36
2015
22
2017
39
2019
0
Insufficient
61
Sufficient
100

Public availability of budget documents in Rwanda

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 Rwanda makes available to the public?

61-100 / 100
41-60 / 100
1-40 / 100
Scroll
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. 2018-19 Internal Use
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. 2018-19 46
Enacted Budget The budget that has been approved by the legislature. 2018-19 95
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. 2018-19 33
In-Year Reports Include information on actual revenues collected, actual expenditures made, and debt incurred at different intervals; issued quarterly or monthly. 2017-18 & 2018-19 67
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. 2017-18 Internal Use
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. 2016-17 Internal Use
Audit Report Issued by the supreme audit institution, this document examines the soundness and completeness of the government's year-end accounts. 2016-17 57

Rwanda’s transparency score of 39 in the OBS 2019 is substantially higher than its score in 2017.

What changed in OBS 2019?

Rwanda has increased the availability of budget information by:

Publishing the Executive's Budget Proposal online.
However, Rwanda has decreased the availability of budget information by:
Producing the Pre-Budget Statement for internal use only.

Recommendations

Rwanda should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:

Publish the Pre-Budget Statement online in a timely manner. The Pre-Budget Statement should contain information on the government's revenue and expenditure policies and priorities for the upcoming budget year, as well as information on macroeconomic and debt estimates that the government is using to develop the draft budget. In previous years, the Second Planning Budget Call Circular was accepted as a Pre-Budget Statement. This document, along with the Budget Framework Paper, could be considered Rwanda's Pre-Budget Statement, and the government should publish these documents online at least one month before the Executive's Budget Proposal is submitted to Parliament.
Publish the Mid-Year Review and Year-End Report online in a timely manner. The Mid-Year Review should be published no later than three months after the mid-point of the fiscal year, while the Year-End Report should be published no later than 12 months after the end of the fiscal year. While Rwanda does produce quarterly cumulative reports, these documents lack important information that would qualify them as a Mid-Year Review or Year-End Report. For example, the Mid-Year Review must contain updated expenditure, revenue, and/or macroeconomic forecasts for the full year, in addition to estimates for the first half of the year. Similarly, the Year-End Report is the comprehensive and detailed reporting of the government's execution of the budget over the course of the year, and goes into greater detail than a Q4 In-Year Report.
Include in the Executive's Budget Proposal debt and macroeconomic information. This includes publishing actual data for government debt, as well as showing the impact of different macroeconomic assumptions (i.e., sensitivity analysis) on expenditure, revenue, and debt.
Improve the comprehensiveness of the Audit Report by ensuring that it reports on all expenditures, including extra-budgetary funds, and ensure that the Citizens Budget is widely disseminated through a combination of different appropriate tools and media.

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.

Rwanda has a public participation score of 15 (out of 100).

Public participation in Rwanda compared to others

Global Average
14
Uganda
22
Kenya
20
Rwanda
15
South Sudan
11
Tanzania
9
Madagascar
6
Somalia
2
Burundi
0
Comoros
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

40
/100
Formulation
(executive)
11
/100
Approval
(legislature)
0
/100
Implementation
(executive)
0
/100
Audit
(supreme audit institution)

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

Recommendations

Rwanda's Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning 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 to engage 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.
Improve feedback on public engagement by publishing the public's inputs and steps that the government has taken to incorporate these inputs.

Rwanda's Parliament has established public hearings related to the approval of the annual budget, but should also prioritize the following actions:

Allow any member of the public or any civil society organization to testify during Parliamentary hearings on the budget proposal prior to its approval. Access to these hearings could be facilitated by disseminating the budget hearing calendar to increase awareness of the opportunity to engage.
Allow members of the public or civil society organizations to testify during its hearings on the Audit Report.

Rwanda's Office of the Auditor General 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 Rwanda, together, provide adequate oversight during the budget process, with a composite oversight score of 65 (out of 100). Taken individually, the extent of each institution’s oversight is shown below:

Legislative oversight

0
61
100
adequate

Audit oversight

0
72
100
adequate

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

Recommendations

Rwanda's Parliament provides limited oversight during the planning stage of the budget cycle and adequate oversight during the implementation stage. To further 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.
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 independence and improve audit oversight by the Rwanda Office of the Auditor General, the following actions are recommended:

Ensure audit processes are reviewed by an independent agency.

The emerging practice of establishing independent fiscal institutions

Rwanda 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:

    Roger Mugisha
    Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR-Rwanda)
    Street KG 627, Building 4, Kimihurura - Gasabo District, Kigali City, Rwanda
    [email protected]
  • To further strengthen the research, each country’s draft questionnaire is also reviewed by an anonymous independent expert, and in Rwanda by a representative of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

Other years