Open Budget Survey Document Availability Tracker
December 2016 Update
To recognize improvements and identify slippages in budget transparency between rounds of the biennial Open Budget Survey, we periodically assess the public availability of the eight key budget documents – an essential component of transparency. This update presents the results of the most recent of these interim assessments.
|Open Budget Survey 2015||December 2016 Update|
|Pre-Budget Statement||Not Produced||Not Produced|
|Executive's Budget Proposal||Available to the Public||Available to the Public|
|Enacted Budget||Available to the Public||Available to the Public|
|Citizens Budget||Not Produced||Not Produced|
|In-Year Reports||Available to the Public||Available to the Public|
|Mid-Year Review||Available to the Public||Available to the Public|
|Year-End Report||Available to the Public||Available to the Public|
|Audit Report||Available to the Public||Available to the Public|
As of 31 December 2016, government of the United States makes six of eight key budget documents publicly available online in a timeframe consistent with international standards. These are the same documents found to be publicly available in the Open Budget Survey 2015, which assessed the availability of documents up to 30 June 2014.
To improve budget transparency, the United States should produce and publish a Citizens Budget and a Pre-Budget Statement. For more information on the content that the eight key budget documents should contain, and the publication timeframe for each document, please see IBP’s Guide to Transparency in Government Budget Reports and the Open Budget Survey Guidelines on Public Availability of Budget Documents.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The United States should prioritize the following to strengthen budget oversight:
- Ensure legislators approve the annual budget before the start of the fiscal year.