Open Budget Survey Launch Event

NGO Forum on Cambodia took part in the launch of the Open Budget Survey at the World Bank on January 31, an event hosted by International Budget Partnership in coordination with Oxfam America. There were several meetings that week before and after the launch event as below report.

Purpose of the meeting is to get to introduce and to know all participants who going to take part in OBS launching on 31st January 2018 and the following meeting as in agenda items of the partners trip. Mostly all partners applaud to IBP team that have done so much work to complete the OBS survey in time with mainly the specific result and ready to launch globally. IBP team thanks to all partners that make time to attend the global launching event and always be a great researcher in providing all sources of information and response calmly to IBP team on time. Without everyone effort there will not be a result in the OBS report.

International Budget Partnership made a press release on Amid Declining Public Trust in Government and Increasing Inequality, Progress toward Global budget transparency stalls for the first time in a decade.

Open Budget Survey 2017 shows 89 out of 115 countries fail to make sufficient budget information publicly available; International Budget Partnership says this failure undermines the ability of citizens worldwide to hold their government to account for managing public funds.

After 10 years of steady progress by countries, IBP says the OBS 2017 showed a modest decline in average global budget transparency scores, from 45 in 2015 to 43 in 2017 for 102 countries that were surveyed in both rounds (scores are out of a possible 100)Warren Krafchik, executive director of IBP, said, “The declines in budget transparency are worrisome against a global backdrop of rising inequality, restrictions on media and civic freedom, and a weakening of trust between citizens and their governments.”

Citizens of every country in the world have the right to know how their government is raising and spending public funds,” said Krafchik. “Citizens should also have opportunities to participate in budget making and oversight, which can lead more equitable budgets and efficient spending. The failure of most governments to involve the public in decision making or to explain their plans and budget weakens trust and undermines democracy.”

Decline in budget transparency were most dramatic in sub-Saharan Africa, where the average budget transparency scores fell by 11 points between 2015 and 2017. Other regions experienced small increases or small declines in their scores, with the exception of Asia, where the average score rose more substantially. A number of countries have experienced significant gains in transparency since they were first included in the survey, including Georgia, Jordan, Mexico and Senegal.

The OBS 2017 also revealed that most countries fail to provide meaningful opportunities for the public to participate in the budget process. The average global score is just 12 out of 100, with 111 countries having weak scores (lower than 41). Without opportunities for citizens’ active participation – particularly citizens from marginalized or vulnerable groups – budget system may only serve the interests of powerful elites.