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Liberia ranks 2nd highest in Open Budget Index

By Author Douglas

(mylbsonline/Liberia)-The 2012 Open Budget Index has ranked Liberia second in West Africa with 43% in its overall budget transparency performance.

The Open Budget Index is an independent survey conducted by the Action for Genuine Democratic Alternatives (AGENDA), a policy research and advocacy ‘Think-Tank’.

The AGENDA’s Senior Policy Director said: “The Index evaluates the extend at which government provides the public with timely and comprehensive access to 8 key budgetary documents required by international practices.

Director Jasper Cummeh said: “The Index reveals that Liberia provided six of the documents, but failed to publicize audit reports and to create a citizen budget for 2012.”

The 8 key documents include the Pre-Budget Statement, Draft Budget, Citizen Budget and Enacted Budget.

Others are the In-year Report, Mid-Term Review, Year-End Report, and Audit Report.

Mr. Cummeh said: “The survey also measured the ability of auditing institutions to provide effective oversight of government budget and opportunity for the citizens to participate.”

The Budget Index launched recently, recounted Liberia’s progress from 3% in 2008 to 40% in 2010 and 43% in 2012.

Such level of progress brings Liberia next to Ghana which maintains 50% progress in the Sub-region
Meanwhile, the Legislative Budget Office is calling for increased cooperation and participation amongst stakeholders involved with the National Budgetary process.

The call was made at the launch of the 2012 Open Budget Index in Monrovia Wednesday 13th March, 2013 by the Legislative Budget Office Director, Julius Ceasar.

Prof. Caesar said: “The Legislature, Executive and Civil Society must all be knowledgeable of the budgetary process and must fully participate in the process collaboratively.”

“In the absence of information flow and smooth working relationship, there will not be a genuine budget to address national priorities,” he said.

Prof. Ceasar then urged the Executive Branch of government to be prompt in forwarding the budget to the Legislature to avoid unnecessary pressure in its passage.

He said: “This will afford the National Legislature ample time to scrutinize the budget before passage. 

 


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