By: Moneer Al-Omari
For the Yemen Post
The Open Budget Partnership (OBP) has recently released the findings of the Open Budget Survey which is conducted in over 100 countries across the globe.
The survey, carried out in Yemen by the Social Research and Development Center (SRDC), measures three aspects of how governments are managing the public finance including the transparency of the state’s budget, engagement of citizens and non-government organizations in decisions pertaining to how resources are collected and how they are used as well as strength of auditing organizations and this relates in Yemen’s case to the legislator and the Central Organization for Control and Auditing (COCA).
Based on the findings of the survey, the OBP develops its Open Budget Index (OBI). The index is considered the world’s only independent, comparable measure of budget transparency, participation, and oversight.
The overall score for Yemen on the Open Budget Index for 2015 is 34 out of 100, which means the Yemeni government provides minimal information about the state budgets to its citizens. This means that the government provides insufficient information to citizens, and therefore giving them no opportunities to participate during the different stages of the budgeting cycle including budget preparation, execution and oversight.
In some details, Yemen scored only 10 out of 100 in terms of public engagement and this relates to the fact the government is weak and does not provide any opportunities for Yemeni citizens to participate during the course of the budget cycle in terms of preparation, execution and oversight.
In terms of legislator’s strength, Yemen’s score was 27 and this is because the legislator is weak. This holds true for COCA, which the only supreme state auditing institutions, as the score was 33.
Generally speaking, Yemen has, compared to the previous rounds of the same survey, made some progress over the last three years, but the progress achieved remains far below the global average estimated to be 45 out of 100.
The Open Budget Survey is conducted regularly and 2015 round is the 4th round in which Yemen is included. The scores of the previous rounds were 10 (2008), 25 (2010) and 11 (2012).