The three key finding for the most recent open budget survey were:
- The public is shut out of the budget process in the majority of countries. 41 of the 85 countries provide only minimal, scant, or no information.
- The lack of transparency is compounded by weak oversight institutions in audit and parliament. Donor aid may negatively affect transparency. Low scoring countries often share similar characteristics, including regional locations, dependence on oil and gas exports and foreign aid, and weakness of democratic institutions.
- Budget Transparency can be improved quickly and at little cost
Countries that showed improvements since the last study were Egypt, Georgia, Croatia, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Nepal. Mr. Ramkumar completed his presentation with advice for governments and donors.
Mr. Ramkumar suggests that the financial crisis will reduce donor funding. Governments with more transparent budgets are more likely to receive funds.