2017 budget survey report launched

The Open Budget Survey 2017 Report assesses how Papua New Guinea performs against other countries in terms of the transparency and timely provision of national budget data, including audits, to the public.

The report was launched today in Port Moresby.

It includes both the PNG and global report, together with the Open Budget Index, by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) with the PNG Institute of National Affair (INA).

The survey also looks at the level of engagement with the public and respective people's oversight bodies, including the National Parliament, and watchdogs, notably the Auditor General, during the entire Budget process.

A summary report of the OBI report presented by Institute of National Affairs director, Paul Barker, showed that PNG scored 50 out of 100 for transparency on open budget index.

This means the public is provided limited information on the budget.

He also highlighted that PNG scored 6 out of a 100 on public participation; which means that fewer opportunities are provided for the public to engage in the budget process.

He further emphasised that for Budget oversight, PNG scored 31 out of 100, basically affirming that the legislature and supreme audit institution in PNG provide weak oversight of the budget.

Barker stressed on how PNG can improve transparency further, recommending that PNG should prioritise the following actions to improve budget transparency:

  • Publishing a pre-budget statement online in timely manner
  • Produce in-year reports, an audit report and citizens’ budget as well as increase the information provided in the year-end report by including comparisons between planned non-financial outcomes and actual outcomes and comparisons between original macroeconomics and actual outcomes

“Ready and timely availability of Budget and Budget outcome data (including audits) is considered an essential first step for budget accountability and ensuring public funds are used effectively for the benefit of the people of Papua New Guinea, or any country,” said Barker. 

Annette Kora