29.Apr .2020 17:23

Georgia remains fifth place in terms of budget transparency

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According to the 2019 Open Budget Survey (OBS), conducted by the International Budget Partnership (IBP), Georgia got 81 points out of 100 in state budget transparency, the Transparency International Georgia said on Wednesday.

According to the watchdog, it is one point less than the result of 2017 survey. This change was mainly due to amendments in the methodology of evaluating several issues by the International Budget Partnership. 81 points allowed Georgia to be still ranked number 5 (similar to the result of 2017 survey) among 117 countries following New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden and Mexico.

“The entire research process took approximately 18 months. The OBS 2019 assesses only events, activities, or developments that occurred up to 31 December 2018. Transparency International Georgia has been conducting this research for International Budget Partnership and assessing Georgia’s progress since 2012.

Drawing on internationally accepted criteria developed by multilateral organizations, the OBS uses 109 equally weighted indicators to measure budget transparency. These indicators assess whether the central government makes eight key budget documents available to the public online in a timely manner and whether these documents present budget information in a comprehensive and useful way. The mentioned eight documents are:

Pre-Budget Statement;

Executive’s Budget Proposal;

Enacted Budget;

Citizens Budget;

In-Year Reports;

Mid-Year Review;

Year-End Report;

Audit Report;

Transparency alone is insufficient for improving governance. Public participation in budgeting and budget oversight are vital to realize the positive outcomes associated with greater budget transparency. That’s why, the OBS focuses on these two issues as well. Georgia’s performance in public participation is less impressive than in budget transparency. Georgia got 28 points out of 100 (14th place in the world) in terms of public participation and 82 points in budget oversight (11th place in the world).

Despite the impressive performance, IBP proposes a number of recommendations for the Government of Georgia in order to continue improving its scores. The most important recommendations are related to further enrichment of Executive’s Budget Proposal and Mid-Year Review and creating more tools for public participation in budgetary processes,” the Transparency International said.