- On September 1, 2015
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Open Budget Survey (OBS) training workshop has been organized for 25 selected journalists working in Ghana.
The workshop which was funded by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) and held in Accra is a precursor to the national launch of the OBS results for 2015 which will be announced in September.
It aimed mainly at deepening their understanding of what the Open Budget Survey and Tracker is; how countries are assessed and how to independently monitor the publication of 8 key budget documents.
The training also provided journalists the opportunity to ask critical questions regarding progress of the country’s budget formulation and implementation in order to equip them to educate and influence the broader society to demand accountability and equity in the utilization of the budget.
In her opening remarks Ms Harriet Nuamah-Agyemang, a Programme Officer at SEND-GHANA explained that, SEND-GHANA believes that budget tracking and monitoring is a very important tool or activity that can be used to measure how transparent and accountable Ghana’s budget is.
She said all the 8 key budget documents that can be tracked must be available by the Finance Ministry and should be easily accessible to all citizens. The documents should also be devoid of technicalities in order for everybody to understand.
She entreated participants to create awareness of OBS among the citizenry. “We believe that the media is able to reach our citizenry within a short time at a relatively moderate cost and therefore can help stimulate and influence public debate on how best to ensure that the monies allocated by government to the various ministries are used judiciously.
The IBP conducts this survey to track government performance in order to find out whether government is doing well with respect to the OBS.
An article on IBP website reported that, the Open Budget Survey assesses whether the central government in each country surveyed makes eight key budget documents available to the public, as well as whether the data contained in these documents is comprehensive, timely, and useful. The IBP conducts this exercise in collaboration with the country partners, SEND-GHANA in Ghana.
The documents include:
Executive Budget Proposal,
Year End Report,
Mid Year Report and
Year End Report
Each country is given a score between 0 and 100 that determines its ranking on the Open Budget Index.
The impact of the survey cannot be over emphasized.
The IBP and its civil society partners contribute to reforms in how governments around the world manage public funds so that: budget processes (how budgets are proposed, debated, implemented, and evaluated) are more transparent and open to public input; budget policies (who will pay what taxes, or how much money will go to specific programs) effectively address the needs of the poor and marginalized; and budget rules, regulations, and institutions are stronger and better able to resist corruption and mismanagement and ensure more effective and efficient use of public resources.
About International Budget Partnership
The International Budget Partnership collaborates with civil society around the world to use budget analysis and advocacy as a tool to improve effective governance and reduce poverty.