Ghana improves budget transparency – Open Budget Survey

Transparency with regards to public access to information on how the central government raises and spends public resources has improved, the 2021 Open Budget Survey (OBS) has revealed.

Ghana scored 56 per cent out of 100 against 54 per cent recorded in 2019 in the transparency components of the survey, placing the country at the 45th position out of 120 countries, second in West Africa and fifth in Africa.

It is the country’s highest transparency score recorded since the last six editions of the survey as the nearest score was 54 per cent recorded in the previous year and 2010 and the lowest— 50 per cent — was recorded in 2012 and 2017.

This came to light at the launch of Ghana’s 2021 OBS findings organised by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) and SEND Ghana, survey conductors, in Accra yesterday.

The OBS, now in its eighth year, is a biennial global independent, comparative and regular assessment of transparency, institutional oversight and public participation in public budgets in 120 countries.

The transparency component assesses the online availability, timeliness, and comprehensiveness of eight key budget documents including pre-budget statements, executive budget proposals, audit reports and in-year reports.

In a presentation, Mr Godson Aloryito, IBP Budget Credibility Programmes Officer, said though the country’s transparency score improved, it did not meet the 61 mark which is considered sufficient.  

In order to improve budget transparency, he recommended that data on the financial position of the government and data on the macroeconomic forecast are included in the executive budget proposals.

“This would include publishing information related to the financial and non-financial assets as well as estimates of the impact of different macroeconomic assumptions”, he said.

Mr Aloryito said in the public participation component of the survey, which examines the practices of the central government’s executive, the legislature, and the supreme audit institution (SAIs), Ghana scored 20 out of 100.

He said the country had 39 out of 100 in the budget oversight component which examines the role that legislatures and SAIs play in the budget process and the extent to which they provide oversight.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SEND-Ghana, Siapha Kamara, said although the country was making progress, it was not enough and stakeholders must work hard to pass the move to the ‘sufficient mark’.

“We cannot beat our chest. If you look at the regional average, you know Sierra Leone, Liberia, Gambia, and Nigeria perform four to five to 14, we are supposed to be the best and our best is still not a global standard that we can be proud of,” he said.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

Show More
Back to top button