Feb 7, 2018

2017 Open Budget Survey Results

The Open Budget Survey 2017 shows that many governments around the world are making less information available about how they raise and spend public money. After 10 years of steady progress by countries, the survey shows a modest decline in average global budget transparency. Slovenia however maintained high ranking – the 17th place among 115 countries assessed.

Presentation of the results of 2017 Open Budget Survey was held at the CEF, with a round table discussion where Mitja Čok, PhD, Professor from the Faculty of Economics, Saša Jazbec, State Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Slovenia, Jorg Kristijan Petrovič, First Deputy President of the Court of Audit, Slovenia and Kaja Jurtela, Program Specialist at Center of Excellence in Finance highlighted various aspects of budgetary transparency.

Although overall global transparency has declined from 2015, the level of transparency in 2017 remains well above where it was a decade ago. The number of publicly available budget documents decreased in this round of the survey compared to 2015. However, those documents that were published contained slightly more information now than they did in previous years.

One of the key findings about budget transparency is also that any government, irrespective or region or culture, can become more transparent. The vast majority of countries could quickly improve transparency by making document they already produce publicly available.

The 2017 survey revealed that most countries fail to provide meaningful opportunities for the public to participate in the budget process — both to inform decisions about how government raises and allocates funds and to hold government accountable for implementing those decisions.

The Open Budget Survey also showed that only 32 countries (28 percent) have adequate formal oversight institutions, such as supreme audit institutions and legislatures. While the basic conditions for supreme audit institutions to carry out their oversight function exist in the majority of countries surveyed, the conditions tend to be less favorable in countries that have lower levels of budget transparency.

Slovenia was ranked 17th (between Canada and Germany) among 115 countries assessed, and maintained position among countries with high transparency, despite a different global trend. In Slovenia, all eight budgetary documents that are included the evaluation is publicly accessible, and the aspect of external control and audit is very well assessed. The overall better result could be achieved with increased participation of the public in the cycle of drafting and adopting the budget.

The Open Budget Survey was launched in 2006. It is the worlds' only independent, comparative assessment of the three pillars of public budget accountability: transparency, oversight and public participation. 115 countries across six continents were evaluated in 2017.

Download the Open Budget Survey 2017 Global here or search for a country report.