Ghana struggling to sustain budget transparency with inconsistent measures

The Open Budget Survey(OBS) for 2015 launched here on Thursday indicates Ghana struggling to meet its 2016 target on budget transparency due to inconsistencies in measures initiated by the government.

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To correct this, the government has been urged to produce in a timely manner the Pre-Budget statement as well as the Enacted Budget (Appropriations Act) which should be made public.

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budget

The OBS, which surveyed 102 countries across the world for transparency in their budgets, said Ghana continued to struggle in its quest to meet its target of 67 percent by 2016.

“Although the government provided citizens with some information on the central government’s budget and financial activities, there was still much room for improvement,” a release accompanying the report stated.

The OBS, organized globally by International Budget Partnership (IBP), revealed in its 2015 report that the vast majority of people lived in countries with inadequate systems for ensuring accountable budgets.

“Most countries surveyed provide insufficient information for civil society and the public to understand or monitor budgets, and only a small fraction of countries have appropriate mechanisms for the public to participation in budget processes,” it said.

Presenting the findings on Ghana, George Osei-Bimpeh, Country Director for SEND-GHANA, a social enterprise and advocacy organization, said Ghana’s score of 54 percent was higher than the score of other countries surveyed in West Africa.

“Ghana’s score had increased from 42 percent in 2006 to 54 percent in 2010, largely because the government began to publish Mid-Year Review, a Year-End Report and Annual Audit.

“However, although the 2010 score represented a significant improvement, it also showed that the government was providing the public with only some information on the central government’s budget and financial activities during the referenced year,” Osei-Bimpeh noted.

He therefore urged government to act with donors, civil society groups, investors, and international institutions to strengthen the pillars of budget systems. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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