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Ghana Scores 50% in 2017 OB Survey

Send Ghana, a non-governmental organization, has scored Ghana 50 percent out of 100 in the 2017 Open Budget Report.

This is a fall in scores in comparison with a score of 51 per cent in 2015.

Launching the report in Accra on Wednesday, the Project Officer of Send Ghana, Sandra K. Sarkwah, explained that the score is as a result of the limited budget information government provides to the public.

“Where limited means not all the eight budget documents were published online and on time. Examples include the PBS and IYRs which were either not published and or published late respectively,” she stressed.

She observed that being the sixth assessment on Ghana’s performance on budget transparency, Ghana’s score had not seen improvement over the years.

Presenting the report to the media and other civil society Organizations, she said  the country has failed to meet its target of 67 as envisaged in the 2012 survey, countries like Senegal, Georgia, Jordan and Mexico have experience significant gains in the Open Budget Index (OBI) since their participation in the survey.

“This however does not mean that government has done so poor in making budget information available to citizens, but it is to be noted that much progress has not been made available in elevating the country its targeted score of 67 by 2012,” she mentioned.

The country’s performance on transparency is described in the report as stagnant.

However, to improve the country’s transparency, Send Ghana has recommended government to increase the information provided in the Executive’s Budget Proposal by providing more detailed information on expenditures, borrowing, and debt.

They also called on government to explore the option of providing a platform for the public to engage with prior to or on the day of submission of Mid-year review to the legislature, to improve public participation.

“Government must initiate participatory mechanisms that could be sustained. Example, participatory budgeting in Brazil done by all wings,” according to Send-Ghana.

The Open Budget Survey (OBS) is an initiative of the International Budget Partnership (IBP) that tracks and assesses Central governments’ performance in transparency, public participation and budget oversight of the legislature and mandated audit institutions.

By: Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum/ thePublisher

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