31 Jan 2013

Fiji scores poorly in budget transparency report

5:42 pm on 31 January 2013

A global report has ranked Fiji near the bottom in terms of budget transparency.

Fiji was given only six points out of 100 on the Open Budget Index, compiled by an independent researcher in partnership with the International Budget Partnership based in Washington DC.

The result was seven points lower than Fiji's score in the 2010 survey.

A researcher Albert Cerelala says the index is based on how many of eight key budget documents are produced and published, as well as the level of public participation.

He says Papua New Guinea achieved an above-average score of 56 in comparison.

Mr Cerelala says most of the documents are produced by the Fiji government for internal use only, and Fiji can easily do better by being more open.

"One we don't have, the five budget documents that are currently being produced, we don't have them being published, but also on top of that we don't have an existing legislature, we don't have independent oversight, and we also have very weak participatory processes in budget decision-making."

Independent Researcher Albert Cerelala.