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United Kingdom

Open Budget Survey 2017

Downloads:
Country Summary Questionnaire
Transparency

74

out of 100
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Public Participation

57

out of 100
Read More

Budget Oversight

63

out of 100
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IBP considers countries that score above 60 on the Open Budget Index as providing sufficient budget information to enable the public to engage in budget discussions in an informed manner. IBP considers countries scoring above 60 on participation and oversight as providing adequate opportunities for the public to participate in the budget process and providing adequate oversight practices, respectively.

Transparency (Open Budget Index)

74

out of 100

The United Kingdom provides the public with substantial budget information.

How Has the Open Budget Index Score Changed Over Time?
Recommendations for Improving Transparency

The United Kingdom should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:

  • Publish a Citizens Budget to make the budget more accessible to citizens.
  • Increase the information provided in the Executive’s Budget Proposal, including by adding some information that is provided in other reports (such as longer-term projections).
  • Provide more comparisons in the Year-End Report between original estimates and actual outcomes, such as for borrowing and debt and for nonfinancial data.

Public Participation

57

out of 100

The United Kingdom provides the public with limited opportunities to engage in the budget process.

How Does Public Participation Compare to Other Countries in the Region?

Global Average 12/100
United Kingdom 57/100
Canada 39/100
United States 22/100
France 17/100
Germany 17/100
Norway 17/100
Sweden 17/100
Portugal 15/100
Italy 7/100
Spain 2/100
Recommendations for Improving Participation

The United Kingdom should prioritize the following actions to improve public participation in its budget process:

  • Actively engage with individuals or civil society organizations representing vulnerable and underrepresented communities during the formulation and monitoring of the implementation of the national budget.
  • Ensure that participation mechanisms are incorporated into the timetable for formulating the Executive’s Budget Proposal.

Budget Oversight (by Legislature & Audit)

63

out of 100

The legislature and supreme audit institution in the United Kingdom provide adequate oversight of the budget.

To What Extent Does the Legislature Provide Budget Oversight?

Formulation/Approval 33/100
Execution/Audit 73/100

The legislature provides limited oversight during the budget cycle. This score reflects that the legislature provides weak oversight during the planning stage of the budget cycle and adequate oversight during the implementation stage of the budget cycle.

To What Extent Does the Supreme Audit Institution Provide Budget Oversight?

Adequate 89/100

The supreme audit institution provides adequate budget oversight.

Recommendations for Improving Oversight

The United Kingdom should prioritize the following actions to make budget oversight more effective:

  • Ensure the Executive’s Budget Proposal is provided to legislators at least two months before the start of the budget year.
  • Ensure the Executive’s Budget Proposal is approved by legislators before the start of the budget year.
  • Ensure audit processes are reviewed by an independent agency.

Learn More

The information on this page presents a partial country summary. For more detailed information, please download:


Open Budget Survey 2015

Downloads:
Country Summary - English Questionnaire

Transparency (Open Budget Index) 75/100

The Government of the United Kingdom provides the public with substantial budget information.

Public Participation 58/100

The Government of the United Kingdom provides the public with limited opportunities to engage in the budget process.

Budget Oversight

By legislature 45/100

Budget oversight by the legislature in the United Kingdom is limited.

By auditor 92/100

Budget oversight by the supreme audit institution in the United Kingdom is adequate.

Recommendations 

Improving Transparency

The United Kingdom should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:

  • Increase the comprehensiveness of the Executive’s Budget Proposal by presenting detailed spending information, including medium term estimates at a program level.
  • Increase the comprehensiveness of the Enacted Budget.
Improving Participation

The United Kingdom should prioritize the following actions to improve budget participation:

  • Establish credible and effective mechanisms (i.e., public hearings, surveys, focus groups) for capturing a range of public perspectives on budget matters. For example, HM Treasury could broaden its consultation practices, which currently focus on taxation, to seek public input on significant changes in public spending.
  • Hold legislative hearings on the budgets of specific ministries, departments, and agencies at which testimony from the public is heard.
  • Provide detailed feedback on how public assistance and participation has been used by the supreme audit institution.
Improving Oversight

The United Kingdom should prioritize the following actions to strengthen budget oversight:

  • Ensure the Executive’s Budget Proposal is provided to legislators at least three months before the start of the budget year.
  • In both law and practice, ensure the legislature is consulted prior to the spending of contingency funds that were not identified in the Enacted Budget.

 


Open Budget Survey 2012

Downloads:
Country Summary - English Questionnaire

Open Budget Survey 2010

Downloads:
OBI2010-UnitedKingdom Questionnaire


Open Budget Survey 2006

Downloads:
Country Summary Country Summary Questionnaire



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