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Georgia Ranks 1st In World By Budget Transparency, OBS Shows

By Khatia Bzhalava
Wednesday, June 1, 2022
According to the 2021 Open Budget Survey (OBS), conducted by the International Budget Partnership (IBP), Georgia ranks first in the world by budget transparency. This year, Georgia got 87 points out of 100 in state budget transparency, which is an increase of six points from OBS 2019, when Georgia was ranked 5th.

It is noteworthy that when the OBS was first published in 2006, Georgia listed 30th with 34 points and was among the least transparent countries.

The 2021 survey highlighted Georgia’s progress in improving its Financial Management Information System, which allowed the government to operate online when pandemic restrictions forced officials to work remotely.

The index also said that regular coordination had also "bolstered the country’s budgetary system" and noted that the International Monetary Fund and European Union have helped pave the way for Georgia to produce budget documents in line with international standards.

“The latest improvements demonstrate that budget accountability in Georgia is not just a temporary endeavor, but an ongoing commitment to embedding good budgeting practices over time that are capable of weathering challenges and crises,” reads the survey.

The ranking also focused on the remaining challenges and noted that mechanisms for public participation in the central budget process remain underutilized. In particular, out of 100 possible points, Georgia received 44 points in terms of ensuring citizen participation in the budgetary process, and 74 points in terms of budget oversight.

IBP proposes several recommendations for the Government of Georgia to continue improving its scores, among which the most important ones are related to better oversight of the budgetary process by the Parliament and increasing the involvement of citizens in the budgetary process

The OBS uses 109 equally weighted indicators to measure budget transparency, based on internationally accepted criteria developed by multilateral organizations. These indicators assess whether the central government makes eight key budget documents available to the public online promptly and whether these documents present budget information in a comprehensive and useful way.

The eight documents are the pre-budget statement, executive’s budget proposal, enacted budget, citizens' budget, in-year reports, mid-year review, year-end report, and audit report.