Fiji is on the right path towards budget transparency

A monitoring component of the Open Budget Survey (OBS), the OBS Tracker has established that Fiji is on the right path towards budget transparency.

The OBS Tracker is a tool designed to support the monitoring of national budget documents involving over 100 countries. Since 2006, Fiji has been engaged in this research, through monitoring government websites and associating with government officials on the availability of budget documents on a biannual basis.

The OBS Tracker found that government’s Audit Reports from 2006 to 2013 were not available until the later part of 2014. It also found that the Executive’s Budget Proposals (draft budget) were made through parliamentary process and is available to public online. The 2015 Pre-Budget Statement is currently used for internal purposes, whereas Statements between 2012 and 2014 are accessible online.

It is essential that Fijian taxpayers are able to participate in the budget process in addition to being aware of how their taxes are used by government.

The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) commends the Fijian government for implementing positive steps towards budget transparency in the future and encourages further efforts to make the 2015 Pre-Budget Statement, Enacted Budget and Year-End Reports available to the public.

To view the updated information on Fiji’s status of budget document transparency visit http://www.obstracker.org/. This link will allow access to Fiji’s Budget Library and Historical Information and the latest results of the budget tracker. The website contains a specific page (http://www.obstracker.org/country/Fiji) dedicated to Fiji’s Open Budget Index.

What is the OBS Tracker

The Tracker is designed to enable several stakeholders in Fiji and internationally to regularly monitor a government’s performance on budget transparency and sharpen advocacy by maintaining pressure throughout the year on a government to publish budget information. This will ensure that stakeholders use current legislation as incisive tools to closely monitor budget practices, for inconsistency or backsliding throughout the year.

Background on CCF

The CCF is a non-government organisation that advocates and educates the public on democracy, good governance, human rights, Constitutional rights and multiculturalism in Fiji. The CCF’s envisions a nation where its people live together in equality, justice and peace, respecting the rule of law that guarantees democracy.

The OBS is an initiative that the CCF works in collaboration with the International Budget Partnership (IBP), which is an organisation that promotes open and accountable public budgeting. The CCF is the only non-government organisation that works in this initiative since March 2014.

For further information contact the CCF’s Communications Officer on email media1@ccf.org.fj or call (679) 3308379

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