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Georgia

Citizen Involvement in Budget (GE0090)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Not Attached

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Parliament of Georgia

Support Institution(s): Initiator: GIZ Programme “Public Financial Management in the South Caucasus”; GGI

Policy Areas

E-Government, Fiscal Openness, Legislative, Open Parliaments, Participation in Lawmaking, Public Participation, Public Participation in Budget/Fiscal Policy, Publication of Budget/Fiscal Information

IRM Review

IRM Report: Pending IRM Review

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

2. Increasing Citizen Involvement in the Elaboration and Approval of the Budget

Lead Agency Parliament of Georgia

Partners Public Institution Initiator: Parliament of Georgia
Civil/International/Private Sector Initiator: GIZ Programme “Public Financial Management in the South Caucasus”; GGI

Current Situation and Challenges In order to establish efficient, effective and accountable budget system, it is crucial to ensure citizen involvement in budgetary processes.
According to the Open Budget Survey conducted within the framework of International Budget Partnership (IBP) in 2017, Georgia took the fifth place. Despite receiving high rating in accordance with a number of criterions (80 Points/OBI 2017), the country is still challenged with a low rating (22 Points/OBI 2017) for the criterion of Citizen Involvement in Budgetary Processes.
The nature of the budget process requires that certain activities involve joint effort of key organizations that participate in the process, including coordination and implementation of Parliamentary control on performed activities.

Main Objective

Ensure transparency and increased citizen involvement in elaboration and approval process of the state budget.

OGP Challenge Improving Public Services

OGP Principles Access to Information Accountability
Citizen Engagement
Technologies and Innovation

√ √ √
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) the Commitment addresses
Goal 16
Milestones New/Old Commitment Start Date: End Date:
1. Elaboration of Policy and Guidance Documents (in accordance with OBS and GIFT Recommendations) on Citizen Involvement in the budgetary processes by the Parliament, the Ministry of Finance and the State Audit Office with the participation of civil society, international and donor organizations. 09/2018 07/2019
2. Ensuring accessibility of simple, easy and visually processed information about the state budget / draft budget on the website of the Parliament (GGI) 10/2018 04/2019
3. Review of the Annual Report on activities carried out in order to ensure the transparency of the state budget and citizen involvement in budgetary processes submitted by the Ministry of Finance to the Finance and Budget Committee of the Parliament 02/2019 10/2019
4. Holding civil society consultations with the participation of Parliamentary Committees, the Budget Office, the State Audit Office and CSOs from the day of submission of information on key macroeconomic forecasts and main directions of the Ministries of Georgia to the Parliament of Georgia until the final hearing by the Finance and Budget Committee 01/2019 07/2019
5. Holding civil society consultations with the participation of Parliamentary Committees, the Budget Office, and the State Audit Office from the day of submission of the draft law on state budget to the Parliament until its final hearing by the Finance and Budget Committee 09/2019 11/2019
6. Elaboration and proactive disclosure of the Finance and Budget Committee Report on civil society involvement in the Committee hearing of the main documents on key macroeconomic forecasts, main directions of the Ministries of Georgia and the State Budget Draft Law 02/2019 12/2019
7. Elaboration and proactive disclosure of the Parliamentary Recommendations document by the Finance and Budget Committee of the Parliament of Georgia 07/2018 07/2019
Indicators
Activity 1 (GIZ and the Parliament of Georgia) Policy and guidance documents on citizen Involvement in budgetary processes are elaborated and shared with civil society representatives
Activity 2 (GGI) Simple, easy and visually processed information about the state budget / draft budget is proactively disclosed on the website of the Parliament
Activity 3 (GIZ and the Parliament of Georgia) The Committee has reviewed the report at least once and has proactively disclosed the minutes of the hearing
Activity 4 (GIZ and the Parliament of Georgia) The Finance and Budget Committee has conducted at least one meeting with civil society representatives and has proactively disclosed a report
Activity 5 (GIZ and the Parliament of Georgia) The Finance and Budget Committee has conducted at least one meeting with civil society representatives and has proactively disclosed a report
Activity 6 (GIZ and the Parliament of Georgia) The report has been proactively disclosed on the website of the Parliament
Activity 7 (GIZ and the Parliament of Georgia) • Relevant amendments have been applied to the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament;
• Recommendations have been proactively disclosed on the website of the Parliament

IRM Midterm Status Summary

Commitment 25: Increasing Involvement in the Elaboration and Approval of the Budget

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

“In order to establish efficient, effective and accountable budget system, it is crucial to ensure citizen involvement in budgetary processes.

According to the Open Budget Survey conducted within the framework of International Budget Partnership (IBP) in 2017, Georgia took the fifth place. Despite receiving high rating in accordance with a number of criteria (80 Points/OBI 2017), the country is still challenged with a low rating (22 Points/OBI 2017) for the criterion of Citizen Involvement in Budgetary Processes.

The nature of the budget process requires that certain activities involve joint effort of key organizations that participate in the process, including coordination and implementation of Parliamentary control on performed activities.”

Milestones: 

  1. Elaboration of Policy and Guidance Documents (in accordance with OBS and GIFT Recommendations) on Citizen Involvement in the budgetary processes by the Parliament, the Ministry of Finance and the State Audit Office with the participation of civil society, international and donor organizations.
  2. Ensuring accessibility of simple, easy and visually processed information about the state budget / draft budget on the website of the Parliament (GGI)
  3. Review of the Annual Report on activities carried out in order to ensure the transparency of the state budget and citizen involvement in budgetary processes submitted by the Ministry of Finance to the Finance and Budget Committee of the Parliament
  4. Holding civil society consultations with the participation of Parliamentary Committees, the Budget Office, the State Audit Office and CSOs from the day of submission of information on key macroeconomic forecasts and main directions of the Ministries of Georgia to the Parliament of Georgia until the final hearing by the Finance and Budget Committee
  5. Holding civil society consultations with the participation of Parliamentary Committees, the Budget Office, and the State Audit Office from the day of submission of the draft law on state budget to the Parliament until its final hearing by the Finance and Budget Committee
  6. Elaboration and proactive disclosure of the Finance and Budget Committee Report on civil society involvement in the Committee hearing of the main documents on key macroeconomic forecasts, main directions of the Ministries of Georgia and the State Budget Draft Law
  7. Elaboration and proactive disclosure of the Parliamentary Recommendations document by the Finance and Budget Committee of the Parliament of Georgia

Start Date: September 2018

End Date: December 2019

Editorial note: For the full text of this commitment, please see https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/georgia-action-plan-2018-2019/.

Context and Objectives

In its 2017 Open Budget Survey, the International Budget Partnership recommended that the Government of Georgia provide more opportunities for the public to participate in budget design and implementation processes. It also recommended holding legislative hearings on the formulation of the annual budget, during which any member of the public or civil society organization could testify. [131]

As part of these efforts, the Parliament of Georgia, plans to develop a public participation policy document and guidelines. It will work with development partners and with the Ministry of Finance, the State Audit Office, and civil society organizations (CSOs). The document will follow the Open Budget Survey and the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency recommendations. [132] It also aims to institutionalize mechanisms for increasing public participation in budgetary processes.

The commitment also calls for the development of an online module that will be integrated into the new parliamentary webpage. [133] That webpage will present budget-related information in an easy-to-understand manner, compared to the current practice of publishing the budget draft-law in its original form. According to stakeholders, this module will differ from the existing budgetmonitor.ge. It will provide information about the budget draft-law and not the actual national budget. [134]

Lastly, this commitment also aims to introduce several mechanisms regarding civic participation in the budget process. These include holding consultations with CSOs on key macroeconomic forecasts for ministries, holding committee hearings and consultations with CSOs on the state budget bill, and elaborating and publishing committee reports and recommendations. The aforementioned activities are relevant to the OGP values of access to information and civic participation. The commitment provides specific milestones and indicators and is thus verifiable.

According to an interviewed National Democratic Institute representative, [135] public participation largely depends on the support of donor organizations to Parliament in raising awareness through public outreach campaigns, both in the capital and the regions. Parliament has now committed to disseminate information about the prospective budget, which is a timely and positive step forward. Participants in the IRM researcher’s focus group noted that this commitment includes important activities for increasing transparency and informing the public, [136] Though they were skeptical regarding the citizen participation component. Involving citizens in the budgeting process could be challenging, because they often do not possess specific understanding of this process.

Overall, this commitment includes positive steps for increasing the participation of CSOs in the entire process, including consultations with CSOs from budget submission to the final hearing. The commitment also increases the accountability of the government to the Parliament. However, the mechanisms for engaging citizens in budgeting processes are not explicitly defined, which somewhat limits the potential impact of the commitment. Considering the cumulative effect of all the activities, this commitment could represent a moderate improvement regarding involvement in elaboration and approval of the national budget.

Next steps

The Parliament could improve the scale and the scope of the commitment. This could be done by increasing the number of and expanding consultations about the key macroeconomic forecasts and main directions of the state budget bill to the regions (Milestones 25.4 and 25.5). By widening its consultations, the Parliament could expand limited participation and possibly increase the impact of the commitment.

To stimulate public interest and participation in budgetary processes, the Budget and Finance Committee could promote and hold a public hearing of the Ministry and Finance “annual report about the activities carried out in order to ensure the transparency of the state budget and citizen involvement in budgetary processes” (Milestone 25.3). This hearing would go beyond the regular committee review, creating stronger public accountability links and extending the scope of the commitment.

The Budget and Finance Committee should elaborate a monitoring mechanism to ensure that the government follows the recommendations developed under Milestone 25.7 for the next budget bill cycle.

[131] International Budget Partnership, Open Budget Survey 2017, “Georgia,” https://bit.ly/2E1hNTE.

[132] Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency, “Mechanisms of Public Participation,” https://bit.ly/2LW7yU5.

[133] The launch of the new webpage of the Parliament of Georgia is envisaged as part of Commitment 26 of the 2018–2019 OGP national action plan.

[134] Tamar Sartania, Deputy Chief of Party, National Democratic Institute, interview with IRM researcher, 11 July 2019.

[135] Sartania interview, 11 July 2019.

[136] IRM researcher’s focus group discussion with experts, researchers, and master’s students of public administration, 18 June 2018.


Commitments

  1. Improved Public Services

    GE0066, 2018, Capacity Building

  2. Citizen Engagement Platform

    GE0067, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. Unified Authentication System

    GE0068, 2018, E-Government

  4. Economic Governance

    GE0069, 2018, E-Government

  5. Environment Portal

    GE0070, 2018, E-Government

  6. Strengthen Anti-Corruption Institutions

    GE0071, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  7. Monitor SDGs

    GE0072, 2018, Capacity Building

  8. Citizen Engagement Legislation

    GE0073, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  9. Publish Court Decisions

    GE0074, 2018, E-Government

  10. Increasing Transparency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

    GE0075, 2018, E-Government

  11. Citizen Participation in Public Finance

    GE0076, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  12. Transparent Public Funding System

    GE0077, 2018, Fiscal Openness

  13. Public Procurement Improvements

    GE0078, 2018, Access to Information

  14. Housing Policy Planning

    GE0079, 2018, Land Rights and Spatial Planning

  15. Openness and Accountability of State-Owned Enterprises

    GE0080, 2018, E-Government

  16. Transparency and Good Governance

    GE0081, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  17. Open Data Collection and Publication

    GE0082, 2018, Access to Information

  18. Participation for Disabled Individuals

    GE0083, 2018, Infrastructure & Transport

  19. Participatory Budgeting

    GE0084, 2018, Capacity Building

  20. Your Idea for the Zugdidi Mayor

    GE0085, 2018, Capacity Building

  21. Electronic Services

    GE0086, 2018, E-Government

  22. I. Gov. Zugdidi

    GE0087, 2018, Capacity Building

  23. Service and Citizen Satisfaction Assessment

    GE0088, 2018, Capacity Building

  24. Promoting and Monitoring SDGs

    GE0089, 2018, Legislative

  25. Citizen Involvement in Budget

    GE0090, 2018, E-Government

  26. Technology for Transparency

    GE0091, 2018, E-Government

  27. Citizen Engagement Center

    GE0092, 2018, Capacity Building

  28. Raising Public Awareness About Parliamentary Democracy

    GE0093, 2018, E-Government

  29. Electronic Innovations for More Transparency and Efficiency of Public Procurement

    GE0056, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  30. Starred commitment Adoption of the Environmental Assessment Code

    GE0057, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  31. Introduction of a Mobile App as an Alternative Channel to Connect to “112”

    GE0058, 2016, E-Government

  32. Development of Local Councils for Crime Prevention

    GE0059, 2016, Justice

  33. Development of a Guidebook for Economic Agents

    GE0060, 2016, Capacity Building

  34. Development and Introduction of the Quality Control Program of Commercial Service

    GE0061, 2016, Capacity Building

  35. Presentation of Company Reports in an Electronic Form and Provision of Their Accessibility

    GE0062, 2016, Capacity Building

  36. Introduction of an Electronic Petition Portal and “Zugdidi-INFO” on the Webpage of Zugdidi Municipality Assembly

    GE0063, 2016, Capacity Building

  37. Transparency of Ozurgeti Municipality Assembly Meetings

    GE0064, 2016, Capacity Building

  38. Creation of Electronic Mechanism for Local Budget Planning in Kutaisi, Ozurgeti, Batumi and Akhaltsikhe

    GE0065, 2016, E-Government

  39. Adapting the Public Service Hall to the Needs of the People with Disabilities

    GE0042, 2016, Capacity Building

  40. Launch of the Unified Healthcare System Information Portal

    GE0043, 2016, Capacity Building

  41. Introduction of Electronic Licensing System in the Field of Natural Resources Application

    GE0044, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  42. Creation of Spatial (Geographic) Data Web-Portal for the Energy Sector

    GE0045, 2016, Capacity Building

  43. Creation of Innovation Ecosystem

    GE0046, 2016, Capacity Building

  44. Electronic Portal for Registering and Disposal of State Property – Customer’S Module

    GE0047, 2016, E-Government

  45. Development of the Freedom of Information Law

    GE0048, 2016, Access to Information

  46. Development of a Monitoring and Assessment System of the Government Policy and Legislative Acts

    GE0049, 2016, Capacity Building

  47. Starred commitment Introduction of the Public Officials’ Asset Declarations Monitoring System

    GE0050, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  48. Establishing Unified Regulations to Publish Court Decisions

    GE0051, 2016, Judiciary

  49. Development of Transparency and Integrity Strategy and Action Plan in the Field of Regional Development and Infrastructure

    GE0052, 2016, Capacity Building

  50. Improvement of the Database of the Convicted and Transfer of the Penitentiary Department Entirely Onto the Electronic Workflow Management

    GE0053, 2016, Capacity Building

  51. Publication of Phone Tapping Data According to the Nature of the Crime and Geographic Area

    GE0054, 2016, E-Government

  52. Starred commitment Increasing Citizen Participation in Supervision of Public Finances (Public Audit)

    GE0055, 2016, Capacity Building

  53. "Voice of the Consumer"

    GE0013, 2014, Public Participation

  54. JUSTdrive

    GE0014, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  55. Educational Services

    GE0015, 2014, Education

  56. Citizen's Portal (Www.Mygov.Ge)

    GE0016, 2014, Capacity Building

  57. Transformation of Public Libraries for Regional Development

    GE0017, 2014, Capacity Building

  58. Digital Signature and Online Authentication

    GE0018, 2014, E-Government

  59. Open Data Portal (Data.Gov.Ge)

    GE0019, 2014, Access to Information

  60. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Draft

    GE0020, 2014, Access to Information

  61. Georgia's OGP Forum

    GE0021, 2014, Public Participation

  62. I-Change.Ge

    GE0022, 2014, E-Government

  63. Transparency of Public Service Recruitment

    GE0023, 2014, E-Government

  64. Asset Declaration Monitoring System

    GE0024, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  65. Starred commitment Political Party Financial Declarations

    GE0025, 2014, Access to Information

  66. Accessibility of Ministry of Interior's Webpage to People with Special Needs

    GE0026, 2014, E-Government

  67. Starred commitment Proactive Publishing of Surveillance Data

    GE0027, 2014, Civic Space

  68. Public Awareness of the Electoral Process

    GE0028, 2014, Capacity Building

  69. Transparency of Budgetary Processes

    GE0029, 2014, E-Government

  70. Electronic System of Procurement

    GE0030, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  71. Digital Human Resource Management System

    GE0031, 2014, E-Government

  72. Digital Preservation System: E-Archive

    GE0032, 2014, E-Government

  73. Openness and Accessibility of National Archives

    GE0033, 2014, E-Government

  74. Electronic Catalogues of Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) Archives

    GE0034, 2014, E-Government

  75. Public Finance Management System

    GE0035, 2014, E-Government

  76. Alternative Channels to "112"

    GE0036, 2014, E-Government

  77. Interactive Statistics and Crime Mapping

    GE0037, 2014, E-Government

  78. Travel Insurance Services

    GE0038, 2014, Citizenship & Immigration

  79. State Property Registration

    GE0039, 2014, Public Service Delivery

  80. Development of Community Centers in Georgia

    GE0040, 2014, E-Government

  81. Introduction of e-Governance in Local Self-Governments

    GE0041, 2014, E-Government

  82. Public Service Hall-Hub of Public Services

    GE0001, 2012, Access to Justice

  83. e-Governance in Local Governments

    GE0002, 2012, E-Government

  84. Citizens’ Portal

    GE0003, 2012, E-Government

  85. Easily Accessible and Better Healthcare

    GE0004, 2012, E-Government

  86. Launch Ichange.Ge and Data.Gov.Ge

    GE0005, 2012, E-Government

  87. Platform for Participating in the Legislative Process

    GE0006, 2012, E-Government

  88. Citizens and Justice

    GE0007, 2012, Access to Justice

  89. Starred commitment Transparent Party Financing

    GE0008, 2012, Political Integrity

  90. Home-Grown Concept of E-Procurement

    GE0009, 2012, Anti-Corruption

  91. e-Declarations

    GE0010, 2012, Anti-Corruption

  92. Technology Cares for Safety: ICCMS, Crime Mapping, and Safety in Your Neighbourhood

    GE0011, 2012, E-Government

  93. NGO Forum

    GE0012, 2012, Capacity Building

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