Transparency International Fiji would like to support NGOs calling for budget transparency
Transparency International Fiji (TI F) has always supported open budgeting and believes in a consultative process that involves members of the public and other key stakeholders.
TI F promotes public participation in the budgetary process that should include consultation with members of public, private and public organization in an on going manner. This means that that the public should be involved not only in the formulation of the budget but the actual implementation and the final audit.
Furthermore, it should be noted that it is now internationally accepted best practice to consult public in a genuine manner and to inform them about government's intentions on key issues and how it intends to fund projects such as education, social welfare programmes, and health infrastructure in terms of how it will benefit the people. All mid-year reports and final year reports should be made available to the public and easily accessible.
It is also recommended that the government should produce a citizen's budget. A citizens budget is a summary of the national budget designed to reach and be understood by as large a segment of the population as possible. This type of document promotes budget transparency and accountability by making budget information more accessible. It should not serve as a replacement for a country's detailed annual budget documents, but rather as an important supplement.
TI Fiji believes that it is the tax-payers right to this information and it is high time, this information is made public. The public on the other hand should demand to know how their hard earned money is spent.
H P Singh
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