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United States

Open Budget Survey 2017

Downloads:
Country Summary Questionnaire
Transparency

77

out of 100
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Public Participation

22

out of 100
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Budget Oversight

85

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)

77

out of 100

The United States provides the public with substantial budget information.

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

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

  • Produce and publish a Citizens Budget.
  • Provide comparisons between planned expenditures and planned revenues against actual outcomes in the Year-End Report.

Public Participation

22

out of 100

The United States provides few opportunities for the public to engage with the executive branch in a formal way on budget matters.

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 States should prioritize the following actions to improve public participation in its budget process:

  • Pilot mechanisms for members of the public and executive branch officials to exchange views on national budget matters during the national budget’s formulation and the monitoring of its implementation.
  • Establish formal mechanisms for the public to participate in relevant audit investigations.

Budget Oversight (by Legislature & Audit)

85

out of 100

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

To What Extent Does the Legislature Provide Budget Oversight?

Formulation/Approval 76/100
Execution/Audit 87/100

The legislature provides adequate oversight during the budget cycle. This score reflects that the legislature provides adequate 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 95/100

The supreme audit institution provides adequate budget oversight.

Recommendations for Improving Oversight

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

  • Ensure legislators approve the annual budget before the start of the budget year.
  • Ensure a legislative committee examines the annual Audit Report and publishes a report presenting its finding and recommendations in a timely manner.

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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) 81/100

The Government of the United States provides the public with extensive budget information.

Public Participation 69/100 

The Government of the United States provides the public with adequate opportunities to engage in the budget process.

Budget Oversight

By legislature 85/100

Budget oversight by the legislature in the United States is adequate.

By auditor 100/100

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

Recommendations 

Improving Transparency

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

  • Produce and publish a Citizens Budget for its Executive’s Budget Proposal.
  • Increase the comprehensiveness of the Enacted Budget by, for instance, presenting information on all expenditures, revenues, and debt.
Improving Participation

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

  • Establish formal regulations that oblige the executive to engage with the public during each stage of the budget cycle.
  • Establish formal mechanisms for the public to participate in audit investigations.
Improving Oversight

The United States should prioritize the following to strengthen budget oversight:

  • Ensure legislators approve the annual budget before the start of the fiscal year.

 


Open Budget Survey 2012

Downloads:
Country Summary - English Questionnaire

Open Budget Survey 2010

Downloads:
Country Summary Questionnaire

Open Budget Survey 2008

Downloads:
Country Summary Country Summary - Chinese Questionnaire

Open Budget Survey 2006

Downloads:
Country Summary Country Summary Questionnaire



See more on budget work in United States »