Reports and Websites
Global Initiative on Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) High Level Principles on Fiscal Openness, endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly
In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, “Promoting Transparency, Participation and Accountability in Fiscal Policies. “In the resolution, the G.A. called on member states to “take note” of GIFT’s high standards for fiscal transparency & encouraged member states to increase their levels of fiscal transparency according to the principles set out by the Initiative.
IMF “Code of Good Practices on Fiscal Transparency” and accompanying manuals and guides
The Code identifies a set of principles and practices to help governments provide a clear picture of the structure and finances of government. It underpins the voluntary program of fiscal transparency assessments called fiscal transparency modules of Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (or fiscal transparency ROSCs)
IMF‘s Government Finance Statistics Manual
Describes the macroeconomic statistical framework (the GFS framework) designed to support fiscal analysis. The manual provides the economic and statistical reporting principles to be used in compiling the statistics and guidelines for the presentation of fiscal statistics within an analytic framework that includes appropriate balancing items.
OECD Principles of Budgetary Governance
The draft principles draw together the lessons of a decade and more of work by the OECD Working Party of Senior Budget Officials (SBO) and its associated Networks, In particular, the draft principles build upon the OECD Best Practices for Budget Transparency which are long-established as an international point of reference for good budgeting.
International Budget Partnership’s Open Budget Survey and Index
The International Budget Partnership collaborates with a large and diverse network of civil society organizations around the world to fight poverty and improve governance by reforming government budget systems and influencing budget policies. IBP’s website provides links to current ratings of countries’ Open Budget Index (OBI) score.
Public Expenditure & Financial Accountability Performance Measurement Framework (PEFA)
The PEFA Framework has been developed as a contribution to the collective efforts of many stakeholders to assess whether a country has the tools to deliver three main budgetary outcomes: 1) aggregate fiscal discipline, 2) strategic resource allocation, 3) efficient use of resources for service delivery. The objectives of the framework are to 1) provide reliable information on the performance of Public Financial Management (PFM) systems, 2) contribute to the government reform process by determining the extent to which reforms are yielding improved performance, and 3) facilitate harmonization of the dialogue on PFM performance.
International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS)
The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) develops International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs), accrual-based standards used for the preparation of general-purpose financial statements by governments and other public sector entities around the world. Through these standards, the IPSASB aims to enhance the quality, consistency, and transparency of public sector financial reporting worldwide.
Emerging Market Investor’s Alliance (EMIA) Brief on Fiscal Transparency
A two page brief, which argues that, “poor government fiscal transparency, particularly in emerging and frontier markets, continues to make governments prone to fiscal risks.” The brief notes that, “conversely, fiscal openness is associated with a range of positive outcomes: improved government fiscal sustainability, greater macroeconomic stability, more informed policy making, better public service delivery, decreased corruption and reduced poverty as well as increased government legitimacy.” Included in the brief are the current OBI rankings of countries of interest to investors.
Through the Looking Glass: Why Government Fiscal Openness Matters and What Should Investors Do?
A report published by the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT), which argues for increased government fiscal transparency. The paper provides a brief background to demonstrate the necessity of greater international fiscal transparency, definitions of fiscal transparency, budget transparency and fiscal openness, as well as a walk through of how an open budget process should be conducted.
Public Expenditure Reviews
Public Expenditure Reviews (PERs) are core diagnostic studies prepared to help countries establish effective and transparent mechanisms to allocate and use available public resources a way that promotes economic growth and helps reduce poverty. The primary function of a PER is to assist a client country in reforming public expenditures. A good quality comprehensive macro PER is often a very useful document for a government in general, and the ministry of finance in particular. In many developing countries such a review is perhaps the only mechanism for a systematic (and often comprehensive) analysis of Public Sector issues.1 To view PER reports, visit:https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/2109
Teoría y práctica del gobierno abierto: Lecciones de la experiencia internacional
A book in Spanish with all the commitments contained in the Open Government Partnership Action Plans of 26 countries, where Transparency is one of the items.
d-portal.org is a country-based information platform that tracks resource flows. This website is listed as non-secure.
A website which provides a compilation of presentations on participatory budgeting. Content can be explored at: http://www.coe.int/en/web/world-forum-democracy
"Smarter" fiscal transparency - The new IMF code and tailoring recommendations
A presentation of the IMF's new approach reflected in the revised Fiscal Transparency code and Report on Standards and Codes (ROSC) and a discussion about when and how to tailor transparency initiatives to suit immediate needs. The discussion will draw on evidence available to date of the impact of transparency and how more evidence can be gathered by Bank and others concerning the costs and benefits of fiscal transparency.
Open Government Partnership Launches
The inaugural announcement from the Open Government Partnership (OGP) promises a broad-based commitment, from an initial group of eight national governments and nine NGOs, to building more responsive government institutions.
Open Budgets Portal Launch: Boosting Fiscal Transparency for Better Policy Outcomes
The video provides a summary of the challenges and opportunities for boosting fiscal transparency, an overview of the Open Budgets Portal and the importance of building citizens' capacity to understand the budget. The video also includes reactions from other guest speakers via videoconference from Chisinau, Kampala, and London.
From Our Experts
Juan Pablo Guerrero
Juan is the Network Director of the Global Initiative on Fiscal Transparency, a multi-stakeholder action network aimed to advance global norms and fiscal transparency and participation in countries around the world. He was founding Information Commissioner of the Federal Institute for Access to Information & Data Protection in Mexico (2002-09), where he subsequently became the Secretary General (2013-14). Between 2009 and 2013, he was the manager of the Mentoring Governments for Transparency Program at the International Budget Partnership. Before 2003, he was a university professor at the CIDE (Center for Research & Teaching in Economics) in Mexico (1994-2003). He started his career as news reporter and correspondent in Washington & Paris, where he studied master and PhD programs in public policy.
Keith McLean is Lead Specialist in the Governance and Inclusive Institutions Directorate of the Governance Global Practice. An economist by training, he coordinates programs related to the Social Accountability and Open Budgeting. He also co-leads the Bank- wide community of Practice on Fiscal Transparency, Participation and Accountability.
Richard Hughes is the head of the Public Financial Management Division of the IMF’s Fiscal Affair’s Department. Since joining the fund in 2008, his work has focused on structural fiscal reform in crisis-hit countries including Iceland, Ireland, Greece and Portugal. He also led the 2014 revision to the IMF’s Fiscal Transparency Code and Evaluation.
Sanjeev Khagram is the Founder/ Architect of the multi-stakeholder Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency and editor of the volume “Open Budgets: The Political Economy of Transparency, Participation and Accountability” with Brookings Press in 2013. Dr. Khagram received his AB, MA and Ph.D degrees from Stanford and was previously on the faculty of the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Business School, Stanford Institute for International Studies and University of Washington in Seattle (where he was the Director of the Center for Int’l Development).
Vivek is the Director of International Advocacy and Open Budget Initiative at International Budget Partnership (IBP). In this capacity, he oversees the IBP’s efforts to expand the adoption of transparent and accountable budget systems around the world. Additionally, he directs the IBP’s ongoing research initiatives that assess budget transparency in government. Vivek previously worked with the MKSS – an organization that pioneered the Right to Information movement in India. He also worked with a Mumbai-based nongovernmental organization called SPARC, which is part of the Shack/Slum Dwellers International. Vivek is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds an MA from the London School of Economics. He has been with IBP since 2005.