Georgia is steadily improving its international reputation by making governmental and financial dealings of the country more transparent, Agenda reports.
Results of the Open Budget Survey 2017 (OBS) released by the International Budget Partnership ranked Georgia 5th in the world out of 82 scores, based on an analysis of 115 nations’ budget transparency, participation and oversight.
Using 109 indicators to measure budget transparency, countries were given a score out of 100 for each category that measured how governments managed public finances.
This is a great success. Each reform and initiative implemented by us is focused on overcoming the current challenges of our country – such as poverty and unemployment. As a result of promotion in this index we will be able to attract more investments to our economy, accelerate Georgia's economic growth and create more job places”, said Georgia’s Finance Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze.
For Georgia, this year’s results revealed improvements over all three categories – transparency, public participation and budget oversight.
In the transparency index, Georgia was found to provide the public with "extensive” transparency and gained a score of 82/100. In order to further improve transparency the International Budget Partnership recommends Georgia to prioritise the following actions:
Provide detailed data on the financial position of the government, and provide more information on extra-budgetary funds in the Executive’s Budget Proposal; and
Provide more information on the comparisons between the original macroeconomic forecast and the actual outcome in the Year-End Report.
The report says that "Georgia provides few opportunities for the public to engage in the budget process”. In this category Georgia gained a score of 22 out of 100. The report highlights that Georgia should prioritise the following actions to improve public participation in its budget process:
Pilot mechanisms for members of the public and executive branch officials to exchange views on national budget matters during both the formulation of the national budget and the monitoring of its implementation. These mechanisms could build on innovations, such as participatory budgeting and social audits.
Hold legislative hearings on the formulation of the annual budget, during which any member of the public or civil society organisations can testify.
The report said that "the legislature and supreme audit institution in Georgia provide adequate oversight of the budget”. Georgia gained 74 out of 100. For better results Georgia should follow these recommendations:
Ensure a legislative committee examines and publishes a report on the Audit Report online.
Ensure audit processes are reviewed by an independent agency.