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In the View of Budget Transparency Georgia Is Among Semi-Transparent Countries

28.01.2010
Gela Mtivlishvili

Organization International Budget Partnership published results of its survey in transparency of state budgets. Georgia was granted with 53 points among 85 states. Georgia is back than Korea, Peru, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, etc.

International Budget Partnership has been carrying out survey in 85 states of the world once in two years since 2006. There are more than 100 questions on the questionnaire on budget transparency. One expert fills in the questionnaire from each country and two more experts check it. In Georgia, Tamar Karosanidze, director of Transparency International – Georgia, fills in the questionnaire.

“Index of Georgia in 2006-2008 shows that the government does not provide the society with complete information about the state budget. The state budget is semi-transparent and the government is less accountable,” said Tamar Karosanidze.

According to survey results, 80 % of the population does not take part in the budget process (planning, execution and monitoring of budget). In 41 out of surveyed 85 states minimal information is available about budget. In 23 states out of 85, citizens are not allowed to get information about budget before the parliament does not approve it. International Budget Partnership concludes that transparency of budget is directly connected with the level of democracy in the state.

Expert of the Center for Economical Problems Davit Narmania agrees with the remarks of the International Budget Partnership about transparency of the state budget of Georgia.

The expert clarifies that our budget do has problems in the view of transparency; however Ministry of Finances did not foresee remarks and recommendations of the center on time.

“When International Budget Partnership carries out similar survey, it is well-grounded and thorough research. The survey includes many parameters which evaluates the transparency of various state budgets. Thus, being suspicious about the survey results is groundless. I agree that budget of Georgia really has problems in the view of transparency. Public participation in working process on draft-budget is minimal. When Code on Budget was worked out we had some recommendations but the Ministry of Finances did not foresee them and their arguments were very weak,” said Davit Narmania. The expert thinks it is unclear where budget of various institutions is spent because there is no public information about expenditure.

“Based on current format of the budget it is difficult to find out where the money is spent. When we try to get some information about the budget, the institutions release very meager information. Working on the budget is also a problem, because budget is always published in PDF file and it is impossible to work in it. The budget shall be published in excel format in order to enable interested organizations or individuals to carry out analytic work in it,” said Narmania.

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