September 5th, 2013 –The Global Movement for Budget Transparency, Accountability and Participation (BTAP) urges the world´s 20 economic powers to set a good example and to commit to advancing budget transparency, accountability and participation in their countries. The G20 countries should not only focus on discussing how to advance transparency and fight tax-avoidance, they should also launch strong and decisive strategies to promote budget transparency and accountability in their own countries, setting a good example to the rest of the world.
The Russian government –who currently has the G20 presidency- has indicated that “corruption is a great obstacle for effective growth of the global economy”. However, progress has still to be made on budget transparency, which is a key mechanism to reduce spaces for corruption. According to the International Budget Partnership´s Open Budget Index 2012, 9 of the G20 countries –Argentina, Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Turkey- scored less than 70 out of 100 and 2 of these –China and Saudi Arabia- provide scant or no budget information. Furthermore, Russia barely made it beyond a score of 70.
The G20 countries represent 90% of global GDP and 2/3 of the world's population. They should take action and promote budget transparency and accountability in their own countries, by publishing annually, in a timely and accessible way, all eight key budget documents, and by developing clear mechanisms for citizens’ engagement in budget decision-making processes. Furthermore, the G20 should affirm that citizens have a substantial role to play in the budget process. G20 countriesstill have quite some road ahead to improve substantially their performance which reduces dramatically citizens’ possibilities to participate in and hold government accountable for decision-making processes that have a direct impact on their lives.
At BTAP, we are convinced that transparent and accountable budget systems are a priceless tool in the fight against corruption. We demand that governments disclose all aspects related to public resources, advancing towards transparent and accountable budget systems, in which citizens have a role to play.
For more information, please contact Rocio Moreno, BTAP´s Global Coordinator (email@example.com)
About BTAP: The Global Movement for Budget Transparency, Accountability and Participation (BTAP)is an effort by a broad range of activists and organizations working on public finance and budget accountability issues around the world to achieve human rights. All of BTAP´s member organizations have endorsed the Dar es Salaam Declaration on Budget Transparency, Accountability, and Participation (November 18, 2011). For more information on BTAP, go to www.globalbtap.org