Sri Lanka has been ranked 69 among 102 countries with a low score of 39 well below the present global average of 45 and one before last in South Asia in the Open Budget Survey (OBS) results released on Thursday after assessing budget transparency.
This was disclosed by Executive Director of Colombo-based Verite Research, Nishan de Mel at a media conference in Colombo on Thursday. He noted that Sri Lanka’s budget transparency has been in decline over the term of the previous parliament. In 2008 and 2010 Sri Lanka ranked first in South Asia. But at present it is ranked almost at the very bottom in the region, ahead of Nepal.
He revealed that over the last few years, there has been a marked reduction in the ability of citizens, and interested stake holders to properly scrutinize and evaluate financial management of the country. It also indicates a decline in the credibility budget reporting.
The OBS is the world's only independent and comparative measure of budget transparency. The Open Budget Index (OBI) scores 102 countries on budget transparency based on expert assessments of budget documents and legislature.
Ninety-eight of 102 countries surveyed lack adequate systems for ensuring that public funds are used efficiently and effectively. Each of these 98 fall short on at least one of the key pillars of budget accountability: budget transparency, public participation, and formal oversight.
The OBS looks at the transparency of the budgetary process. This covers three areas of assessment; firstly, the level of disclosure in budget documents, secondly, oversight by the legislature and the Auditor General and thirdly, public participation in the budgetary process. (Bandula)