On Thursday 28 October 2021, Budget Working Group (BWG) which consists of local and international NGOs working on budget-related policies coordinated by the NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGO Forum) organized a National Public Forum on Citizen Engagement in Budget Formulation and Monitoring on Public Budget Expenditure Process in the Covid 19 Context both national and sub-national levels. The event was attended by key stakeholders including the representatives from dozen government institutions/ ministries including the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF)/General Department of Taxation, Ministry of Interior (MoI)/ National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development (NCDDs), Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA), Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY), Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MLVT)/ National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Ministry of Information (MoInfo), Ministry of Planning (MoP), Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), Development Partners (DPs) in particularly European Union Delegation to Cambodia and The Embassy of Sweden, national and international NGOs, universities, students, community youths and citizen totally 60 in-person participants (10 females) and 300 joined via zoom, 6K viewers from 5 institutions Facebook pages cross-post lives and 300 comments. Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, and through Virtual
The purposes of the forum are to:
1. Increase the understanding and promote public participation on budget transparency and accountabilities including the budgetary process both national and sub-national.
2. Provide opportunities for taxpayers including youths, CSOs/NGOs to meet and discuss with relevant stakeholders and policymakers toward the public participation in the budget cycle at the national and sub-national level.
3. Provide opportunities for taxpayers including youths, CSOs/NGOs to provide inputs for relevant stakeholders and policymakers toward the improvement of national budget transparency and accountability, gender mainstreaming, inclusive principal, and other alternatives to improve the effectiveness of the sub-national budget formulation.
The event went through 5 key short discussion sessions as follows:
1. The importance and responsibilities of the oversight body
2. Synergies between Public Finance Management (PFM) and Social Protection
3. Gender Responsive Budget (GRB)
4. Public Investment on Education and Children
5. Public Participation in the Processes of Budget Formulation and Implementation Monitoring at the Sub- National Level
Each topic has been discussed on the three main points such as:
1. Positive existing mechanism and the real practices
2. Number of challenges that hinder the practices
3. Proposed solutions, recommendations, and priority actions that will be implemented by concerned stakeholders.
As a result, we, together congratulate on the positive existing mechanisms and practices related to citizen participation in Budget Formulation and Monitoring on Public Budget Expenditure which there are 35 positive points and progresses. The number of challenges that have been hindered to the quality of the monitoring and remarkable budget evaluation, raised during the discussion in the forum including 36 key challenges and 45 Proposed recommendations.
Finally, we, the participants in this public forum, pledge to continue working together in a professional relationship and in a supportive climate to promote transparency and accountability in budgeting oversight at both the national and sub-national levels.