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Budget transparency: The top 20 nations

Last updated on: February 15, 2013 12:40 IST

Budget transparency: The top 20 nations

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Governments serving half the world's population shut citizens out of budget decisions that affect their lives, says the Open Budget Survey 2012.

Released by the International Budget Partnership, the  survey reveals that the national budgets of 77 of the 100 countries assessed – these 77 countries are home to half the world's population – fail to meet basic standards of budget transparency.

The transparency in the Indian budgetary system has improved marginally, the survey says.

Click NEXT to see how countries score on Budget transparency...

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Image: Sealed Budget papers brought to the Indian Parliament.
Photographs: Courtesy, PIB.

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Budget transparency: The top 20 nations

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New Zealand
Rank: 1
Open budget index score: 93

New Zealand scored only moderately well in a new section of the 2012 OBS dealing with public engagement in the budget process.

One important area of weakness in NZ is the lack of public debate and independent scrutiny of the Pre-Budget Statement.

The Open Budget Index assigns countries covered by the Survey a transparency score on a 100-point scale using 95 questions from the 125 questions on the Survey.

These questions focus specifically on whether the government provides the public with timely access to comprehensive information contained in eight key budget documents.

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Photographs: Reuters.

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Budget transparency: The top 20 nations

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South Africa
Rank: 2
Open budget index score: 90

In the last edition of the survey, South Africa took the top spot. It was one of only six countries in the world which released extensive budget information to its legislatures and the public in general. 

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Photographs: Reuters.
Tags: , South Africa

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Budget transparency: The top 20 nations

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United Kingdom
Rank: 3
Open budget index score: 88


The United Kingdom ranks third on the Open Budget Index with a  score of 88 out of 100, which is significantly higher than the average  score of 43 for all the 100 countries surveyed.

The United Kingdom's score indicates that the government provides the public with extensive information on the national government's budget and financial activities during the course of the budget year.

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Photographs: Reuters.

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Budget transparency: The top 20 nations

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Sweden
Rank: 4
Open budget index score: 84

Sweden ranks fourth on the OBI 2012, which is significantly higher than the average score of 43 for all the 100 countries surveyed and is among the highest relative to its neighbours.  

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Photographs: Reuters.
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Budget transparency: The top 20 nations

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Norway
Rank: 5
Open budget index score: 83

Norway's score indicates that the government provides the public with extensive information on the national government's budget and financial activities during the course of the budget year. 

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Photographs: Reuters.
Tags: , Norway

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Budget transparency: The top 20 nations

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France
Rank: 6
Open budget index score: 83

France's OBI 2012 score has slightly decreased from its score of 87 on the OBI 2010.

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Photographs: Reuters.
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Budget transparency: The top 20 nations

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United States
Rank: 7
Open budget index score: 79

The United States' score is higher than that of Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain but still lower than the scores for the rest of Western Europe.

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Photographs: Reuters.

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Budget transparency: The top 20 nations

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South Korea
Rank: 8
Open budget index score: 75

South Korea's score on the Open Budget Index has increased with each round of the Open Budget Survey, a commitment to improvement for which the government is congratulated.

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Photographs: Reuters.
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Czech Republic
Rank: 9
Open budget index score: 75

The Czech Republic's score on the Open Budget Index has signi­cantly increased since the last round of the Open Budget Survey, which is an encouraging development.

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Photographs: Reuters.

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Budget transparency: The top 20 nations

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Russia
Rank: 10
Open budget index score: 74

Russia's OBI 2012 is a significant improvement in comparison to its score on the OBI 2010.

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Image: A general view of the Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament.
Photographs: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters.
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Slovenia
Rank: 11
Open budget index score: 74

Slovenia's OBI 2012 has increased from its score of 70 on the OBI 2010.

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Photographs: Reuters.
Tags: , Slovenia

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Brazil
Rank: 12
Open budget index score: 73

Brazil's OBI 2012 score is slightly higher than its score of 71 on the OBI 2010. 

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Photographs: Reuters.
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Germany
Rank: 13
Open budget index score: 71

Germany's score on the Open Budget Index increased in earlier rounds of the Open Budget Survey but has largely remained constant over the past two rounds.

Germany's score is good, but the government of Germany has the potential to further expand budget transparency by introducing a number of short-term and medium-term measures.

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Photographs: Reuters.
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India
Rank: 14
Open budget index score: 68


According to the 'Open Budget Survey 2012' released on Thursday by the International Budget Partnership, India's open budget index (OBI) score improved from 67 in 2010 to 68 in 2012.

Its open budget index score of 68 out of 100 is much higher than the average score of 43 for all countries covered in the Global Open Budget Survey 2012, it said.

The survey is released every two years and India's OBI score during 2008 was 60.

India continues to occupy the same rank as in 2010. However, its score, which is based on various parameters largely relating to availability of budget information, is the highest in South Asia.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram is scheduled to present the Budget on February 28.

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Photographs: Reuters.

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Slovakia
Rank: 15
Open budget index score: 67

Slovakia's OBI 2012 score has increased from its score of 57 on the OBI 2010.

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Photographs: Reuters.
Tags: , Slovakia

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Chile
Rank: 16
Open budget index score: 66

Chile's score, which is much higher than the average score of 43 for all the 100 countries surveyed and the second highest in the Latin America and Caribbean region after Brazil. 

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Photographs: Reuters.

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Bulgaria
Rank: 17
Open budget index score: 65

Bulgaria scores higher than its neighbours Albania, Poland, Romania, Turkey, and Ukraine but lower than the Czech Republic, Russia, and Slovakia.

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Photographs: Reuters.

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Uganda
Rank: 18
Open budget index score: 65

Uganda's score is 65 out of 100, which is much higher than the average score of 43 for all the 100 countries surveyed and the highest in the East Africa region.

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Photographs: Reuters.

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Spain
Rank: 19
Open budget index score: 63

Spain's score is higher than the scores of its neighbors Italy and Portugal but still lower than the rest of Western Europe and the United States.

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Photographs: Reuters.

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Indonesia
Rank: 20
Open budget index score: 62

Indonesia's score is two points higher than what is considered good. The country scored 51 in the 2010 index.



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