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Open Budget Survey 2019: IBP

  • 02 May 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Recently, the International Budget Partnership (IBP) has released an Open Budget Survey (OBS) 2019.

  • The survey evaluates each country on the basis of the availability of key budget documents of the Central or Federal Government, and assesses whether these are made public, in a timely manner, and provide comprehensive information.

Open Budget Survey

  • The Open Budget Survey is part of the International Budget Partnership's Open Budget Initiative, a global research and advocacy program to promote public access to budget information and the adoption of accountable budget systems.
  • It is a biennial survey.
  • The survey covers 117 countries.
  • It rates the level of budget transparency across countries on a scale of 0-100, based on several normative, internationally comparable indicators.

Key Findings

  • Global Scenario:
    • Improvement in Overall Score: OBS 2019 finds a modest global improvement in budget transparency, which is consistent with the overall trend measured by the survey over the past years.
    • Global Avg. Transparency Score: The global average transparency score has turned out to be 45 out of 100 and thus levels of publicly available budget information remains limited.
    • Top Scorers: New Zealand tops the chart with a score of 87.
      • Further, South Africa (87), Mexico (82) and Brazil (81) are among the top six countries providing extensive information to the public for scrutiny.
    • Citizens’ Participation: The citizens’ participation in the budget process continued to be at a dismal level and thus average global scores on the OBS participation measure remains 14 out of 100.
    • Publication of Audit and Legislative Reports: Only 30 of the 117 surveyed countries have adequate scores both for audit and for legislative oversight.
  • Indian Scenario:
    • India's Global Ranking: India has been placed at 53rd position among 117 nations in terms of budget transparency and accountability.
    • Transparency Score: India's Union Budget process has a transparency score of 49 out of 100, which is higher than the global average of 45.
      • Some of the other large developing countries, with the exception of China, have got much higher transparency scores compared to India.
    • Citizens’ Participation: The public participation in its budgets has been flagged as an area of improvement required for India.
    • Publication of Audit Reports: India performs well in publishing timely and relevant information in the audit reports and in-year reports and has scored well and above many other countries.
    • Publication of Pre-Budget Statement: The absence of a published Pre-Budget Statement and not bringing out a Mid-Year Review in 2018-19 pulled down the transparency score for the Union Budget of India.

Way Forward

  • While many governments and citizens have embraced the open budgeting agenda, more efforts to translate good intentions into better practice are required.
  • A global effort of joint, sustained activism is needed to accelerate progress and deliver the promises of open budgeting to all citizens.

International Budget Partnership

  • The International Budget Partnership (IBP) is a collaborative effort of multiple actors – including civil society, state actors, international institutions and the private sector.
  • IBP was formed in 1997 to promote transparent and inclusive government budget processes as a means to improve governance and service delivery in the developing world.
  • It intends to bring citizens participation in open, inclusive budgeting processes to shape policies and practices that promote equity and justice on a sustainable basis.
    • IBP’s focus on citizens and civil society organizations (CSOs) was driven by the pioneering civil society budget monitoring efforts in a small number of middle-income countries in the early 1990s.
  • IBP’s ultimate aim is to ensure that public resources are used more effectively to fight poverty and promote equitable and sustainable development in countries around the world.

Source:BS

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