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77 countries fail to meet basic standards

Geraldine Panapasa
Saturday, February 02, 2013

FIJI was not alone in its poor performance on budget transparency in the recently released global Open Budget Survey 2012 by International Budget Partnerships (IBP).

Of the 100 countries assessed on whether the central government made eight key budget documents available to the public, 77 countries failed to meet basic standards of transparency.

"The impact of open and accountable public finance on development within countries is particularly important as the international community begins to think about the next set of Millennium Development Goals," said the Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International in a statement.

IBP director Warren Krafchik said budget decisions and processes were critical to addressing many of the world's pressing problems.

He said the success of efforts to reduce maternal mortality, eliminate persistent poverty and provide children with high-quality education hinged on whether countries made the right budget choices and whether those decisions were implemented effectively.

"This is more than an abstract governance issue; it's about the quality of life for millions of people around the world," he said in a statement.

"The Open Budget Survey uses internationally recognised criteria to give each country a transparency score on a 100-point scale called the Open Budget Index.

"Higher scorers for the 2012 edition include New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Norway, Brazil and South Korea while some of the worst performers include Iraq, Chad, Saudi Arabia and Myanmar."





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