Government of Sierra Leone
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
Sierra Leone Excels in Global Open Budget Index Survey
Thursday, 10th September, 2015 – Sierra Leone leads the region and excels in the 2015 global Open Budget Index Survey according to the Washington DC- based International Budget Partnership (IBP).
IBP released the results of its bi-annual Open Budget Index (OBI) survey on the 9th September 2015. The survey results are an outcome of the global assessment of open budget practices in more than 120 countries involving around 300 experts in Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa. Sierra Leone is among the few West African countries that have participated in the study since 2012.
Sierra Leone’s aggregate score in this year’s announcement is 52 out of 100 percent indicating a substantial 12 percent increase in its aggregate score of 39 percent in 2012. In regional comparative terms, the nation’s score makes it the top performer in West Africa, surpassing other countries including Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe.
Sierra Leone’s score also surpassed the global average score of 45 percent and unlike its regional neighbours, the country’s improvement over the years across the 109 indicators of open budget systems and practices clearly demonstrates the strides taken by the Government in promoting a more inclusive and participatory budgeting system.
Sierra Leone’s score is an example of the commitment of the Government, through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, to advancing transparency and accountability in the budgeting system of the country. The remarkable progress in this year’s score is due to a series of significant steps that the Government, and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, in particular have taken over the years.
The Ministry now publishes an annual simplified version of the Budget known as the Citizen’s Budget. It has set up a functioning coordinating Non-State Actors Secretariat through which the Ministry works with civil society groups to promote external oversight and monitoring of public finance. These measures are in addition to the annual Budget Hearings that provide for civic participation in policy decisions and budgetary allocations. All of these measures are amongst the steps that the Ministry intends to consolidate and improve upon as it continues on the path to making Sierra Leone’s budget process amongst the best.
The Government is not complacent and will strive to further improve on its open budgeting practices. Challenges have been highlighted in the survey where improvements can be made. These include, amongst others, strengthening budget oversight. Within the framework of the budget reforms the Ministry has started, such as the activity-based budgeting for both central and local government, the Ministry will seek to improve and complement measures that will further strengthen civic engagement at every stage of the budget process.
The Ministry recognises and lauds the efforts of our civil society and development partners for the assistance provided to the Government over the years to improve public financial management reform including increase in public inclusion, participation, transparency and accountability in local and national budgetary processes.
SIGN: SAYOH KAMARA
HEAD OF MEDIA AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
MINISTRY OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
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