Citizens Budget Draft (BA0007)
Action Plan: Bosnia and Herzegovina Action Plan 2019-2021
Action Plan Cycle: 2019
Lead Institution: Ministry of Finance and Treasury of BiH
Support Institution(s): Public Administration Reform Coordinator's Office of CM BIH (in view of previous experience in this area) in the preparation phase of the guidelines and drafting the Budget for Citizens, and at a later stage (training) the other BiH institution. CSOs and multilateral working groups
Policy AreasE-Government, Fiscal Transparency
Which public issue will be addressed by this obligation?
Generally speaking, governments are responsible to their citizens or at least they should be responsible for actions and policies they are implementing. Budget, as the basic instrument by which the government implements its policies and realizes plans, is usually very complex and difficult to understand by a large part of the public. Therefore, it is not only important that the budget is available to the public, but it is equally important that budget documentation is accessible and understandable to citizens.
According to the results of the International Budget Openness Research (IBP), the Budget Openness Index in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2017 was only 35 points out of a total of 100 index points, which BiH puts in countries whose "government provides citizens with minimal budget information".
According to this survey, the worst segment, citizens' participation in the budget cycle, was rated with only nine index points.
What is the obligation?
Regarding the described situation , one of the or the first of the measures that the institutions of BiH should undertake is to make the information about the budget of the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina available and accessible in a simple, concise and transparent way to the citizens and the public in a form and content that would reflect their interest and needs.
This measure would be realized through the preparation and publication of the Budget for citizens publication, while the process of publishing the publication itself would imply several steps and the involvement of a number of actors. The essence of drafting a Budget for citizens is to make very complicated, professional and comprehensive information presented in a simple, concise and appealing way. The main objective is to: make citizens competent and interested to participate in budget processes
How will the fulfilment of the obligation contribute to the solving of the public problem?
The regular preparation and publication of the Budget for Citizens is a reflection of the best international practices and trends in the field of public finance transparency. Given that the state level of government has not had significant activities and initiatives in this field until now, by introducing the practice of compiling and publishing the Budget for Citizens, it is expected a strengthening of citizens' awareness and public accountability, as well as a much better rating of BiH institutions on the international scale budget transparency, measured primarily by the Budget Transparency Index, which will result in increased trust among citizens, donors and civil society organizations.
Why is this obligation relevant to OGP values?
The relevance of this measure to OGP values is reflected in the following facts:
• Through the implementation of this measure/obligation, for the first time information on the budget intended for citizens will be published, the quality of published information will be improved in relation to the needs of the target group, the availability and accessibility of information in the public will be improved.
• The obligation will directly affect the creation of preconditions and a favourable environment for the public to influence the decision-making process.
By achieving greater transparency and the sense of significant public oversight, the public officials' accountability towards their actions is expected.
The purpose of this activity is to publish and distribute the Budget for Citizens of BiH Institutions for the first time and not only as an informative material of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury of BiH, which would formally comply with this obligation, but the result would be the document in which the citizens themselves participated and NGOs, which fully reflects their interests and needs. Also, it is envisaged that the entire process is implemented systematically and some kind of methodology/guidelines will be developed for the preparation of budgets for citizens, which would be used for the purposes of further training and dissemination of positive practice to all institutions and possibly other levels of government in order to achieve more transparency.
Although most of these activities will be realized within the staffing capacities of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury of BiH and BiH institutions, the BiH Ministry of Finance and Treasury will request a partner donor organization ready to support the planned activities, especially in the area of mentoring and expertise in this area, meetings and workshops, design and preparation of the document itself, as well as assistance in the distribution of the same and eventual procurement of the information tool for the publication of the data on the websites of the institutions of BiH.
In cooperation with the NGO, we will identify the interests and needs of the beneficiary/target group, consider and process the collected information, then work out, write, design and publish the Budget for Citizens and distribute it to citizens through a web site and in a printed form.
Preparation of guidelines for the preparation of the Budget for Citizens for BiH Institutions and provision of education to institutions in connection with drafting the Budget for Citizens.
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