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BAN Coordinator Speaks on Budget Information

14,Feb 2018
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“Without opportunities for citizens’ active participation, particularly from marginalized groups, budget systems will only serve the interests of powerful elites.”

This is according to Budget Advocacy Network Coordinator, Abu Bakarr Kamara. He was responding to questions posed to him about what he thinks of new data which shows that budget transparency dropped significantly in sub-Saharan Africa by 11 points between 2015 and 2017

This latest report comes after ten years of documenting steady progress of availability of budget information, new data shows that budget transparency dropped most dramatically in sub-Saharan Africa where its scores fell by 11 points between 2015 and 2017.

He added that in order to assess transparency and participation, the Open Budget Survey 2017 (OBS) evaluates the role of formal oversight institutions.

According to Warren Krafchik, Executive Director of International Budget Partnership (IBP), they found out that only 32 countries’ legislatures have adequate oversight practices, while 47 countries have limited and 36 countries have weak oversight.

He added that the declines in budget transparency across Africa are worrisome against a global backdrop of rising inequality, restrictions on media and civic freedom, and a weakening of trust between citizens and governments.

According to Warren Krafchik the recent statistics of the Open Budget Survey 2017 (OBS), indicates that other regions experienced small increases or declines in their scores, with the exception of Asia, where the average score rose more considerably.
According to “Transparency scores in this round of the survey show that any government, irrespective of region or culture, can become more transparent,” said Krafchik. He added: “The vast majority of countries in the world could quickly improve transparency by making documents they already produce publicly available while most countries that produce documents which are not published on official websites makes it difficult to track transparency in their budget.

However, the BAN Coordinator, Mr. Kamara stressed that: “Without opportunities for citizens’ active participation, particularly from marginalized groups budget systems will only serve the interests of powerful elites.”

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