The International Budget Partnership has just released the Open Budget Survey 2010, the only independent, comparative, regular measure of budget transparency and accountability around the world.
Produced every two years by independent experts not beholden to national governments, the report reveals that 74 of the 94 countries assessed fail to meet basic standards of transparency and accountability with national budgets. This opens the door to abuse and inappropriate and inefficient use of public money.
“The internationally recognised index this year analysed 94 countries worldwide and South Africa came out on top, squeezing Britain out of top place into third place, and placing New Zealand second,” it said in a statement.
South Africa came out with a score of 92 out of 100.
“The worst performers include China, Saudi Arabia, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal and newly-democratic Iraq, which provide little to no information to their citizens,” the partnership said.
The good news is that all governments — no matter their income levels or political systems or dependence on aid — can improve transparency and accountability quickly and with very little additional cost or effort by publishing online all of the budget information they already produce and by inviting public participation in the budget process.
* Find out which 40 countries provide such minimal information to the public that the country’s governments are able to hide unpopular, wasteful, and corrupt spending.
* Learn how governments can improve transparency and accountability quickly and easily by publishing online all of the budget information they already produce and by inviting public participation in the budget process.
* Find out which countries showed improvements in their average performance over three consecutive Open Budget Surveys.