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Tunisia

Promoting Financial and Fiscal Transparency (TN0028)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Tunisia Second National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of finance

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Fiscal Openness, Publication of Budget/Fiscal Information

IRM Review

IRM Report: Tunisia Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Promoting financial and fiscal transparency

IRM Midterm Status Summary

8. Promote financial and fiscal transparency

Commitment Text:

This commitment tends to devote the principle of fiscal justice and encourage the tax payers to respect their fiscal duties. It also aims at the increase of the state budget resources through better exploitation of the tax energy, especially by reducing tax expenditures.

Responsible institution: Ministry of finance

Supporting institution(s): None

Start date: August 2016     End date: July 2018

Context and Objectives

Since the revolution of 2011, Tunisia has been trying to reform its fiscal and opaque taxation system. The country’s fiscal deficit is high at 5.9 percent of GDP in 2017. [31] The tax system is perceived to be unfair, favoring businessmen that benefit from fiscal advantages, and independent workers like doctors, lawyers, architects and consultants. [32] Reforms to expand the fiscal base faced tremendous pushbacks; in 2016 the lawyers went on strike to protest the finance bill draft that put more pressure on them to pay their taxes. [33] The UGTT, the powerful labor union of Tunisia, criticized the governments that followed the revolution for putting pressure on good payers instead of making bad payers pay. [34] The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the main lender, is pressuring the government to reduce public expenditures and expand the taxation base. The IMF insists, however, that without fiscal transparency, reforms will be much harder to achieve. [35], [36]

The objective of this commitment is to produce two annual reports. The first would be on tax benefits and advantages provided by the state to state and private bodies, however, the commitment text does not specify which years this report would cover.

The second report concerns fiscal obedience, which would disclose information about the amount of collected taxes and the sources from which these taxes were generated. However, the commitment does not provide additional information on how these reports would be developed and in which format they would be presented.

The commitment is relevant to the OGP value of access to information as it will disclose important data on fiscal obedience and state-generated income. CSOs from the OGP Steering Committee in Tunisia view this commitment to be important. However, since the commitment is not specific about how this data will be disclosed, or whether this data would be public or not, and what type of details will be provided, it is not clear if it will allow meaningful analysis on how state income is generated and which companies receive tax advantages. Therefore, the potential impact of this commitment, as written, will be moderate.

Completion

The progress on this commitment is limited. The commitment had no focal point for several months and the project coordinator has changed three times in a year. The first designated person, Aicha Karrafi, General Director at the Ministry of Finance, was in the process of retiring during the assessment and had to transfer the responsibility of the commitment to another responsible person within the ministry. The IRM researcher’s interview with Mrs Karrafi talked about the complexity of the production of the two reports. The Ministry of Finance has faced challenges in publishing consolidated actuals for the state’s budget closing of 2013 and 2014, and 2015 [37] was still pending at the time of writing this report.

Watchdog groups, such as I-Watch, Al-Bawsala and Article 19, have expressed concerns about the lack of communication on the progress of this commitment.

Next Steps

This is an important commitment and if not completed under the current action plan, it should be carried forward to the next one. For implementation to advance, the Ministry of Finance needs to specify what information would be published in the reports, which fiscal years would be covered and whether the report is going to be produced by the Ministry of Finance or the Auditor General’s Office. The IRM researcher recommends the following:

  • Specify the deliverables of the commitment in more detail
  • Publish the report in exploitable open data format
  • Organize an open public debate to discuss the budget details with CSOs before publication of the final report
[36] IMF, Tunisia Fiscal Transparency Evaluation, https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2016/cr16339.pdf

Commitments

  1. Right to Information

    TN0036, 2018, Capacity Building

  2. Open Data Framework

    TN0037, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. Access to Geographic Information

    TN0038, 2018, E-Government

  4. Open Transport Data

    TN0039, 2018, E-Government

  5. Improve Water Resource Governance

    TN0040, 2018, E-Government

  6. Join EITI

    TN0041, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  7. Open Contracting in Hydrocarbons

    TN0042, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  8. Anti-Corruption Framework

    TN0043, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  9. Participatory Budgeting

    TN0044, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  10. Youth Participation

    TN0045, 2018, Marginalized Communities

  11. Implement Initiatives to Apply the OGP at the Local Level

    TN0046, 2018, E-Government

  12. Online Administrative Services

    TN0047, 2018, Capacity Building

  13. Access to Civil Service

    TN0048, 2018, Capacity Building

  14. Joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative "EITI"

    TN0021, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  15. Modernizing the Regulatory Framework to Enforce The Right To Access to Information

    TN0022, 2016, Capacity Building

  16. The Completion of the Legal and Regulatory Framework of Open Data at the National Level

    TN0023, 2016, Capacity Building

  17. Improve the Transparency and Local Gov Openness

    TN0024, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. Enhance the Transparency in the Cultural Sector : “Open Culture”

    TN0025, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Enhance the Transparency in the Environment and Sustainable Development Sector

    TN0026, 2016, Aid

  20. Enhancing Transparency in the Transport Sector

    TN0027, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Promoting Financial and Fiscal Transparency

    TN0028, 2016, Fiscal Openness

  22. Elaborating a Legal Framework for Citizen’S Petitions

    TN0029, 2016, Capacity Building

  23. Developing an Integrated Electronic Civil Petition and Corruption Reporting Platform

    TN0030, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  24. Developing New Mechanisms to Promote Interaction with the Youth and Enable Them to Pursue Dialogue About Public Policies

    TN0031, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. Adopting the Corporate Governance Referential on the Sectoral Level

    TN0032, 2016, Capacity Building

  26. Developing Mobile Applications Which Could Be Downloaded on the Mobile Phone to Reinforce Transparency of Government Activities and Participatory Approach

    TN0033, 2016, Capacity Building

  27. Enhancing Access to the Archive

    TN0034, 2016, Capacity Building

  28. The Development of an Electronic Mechanism to Ensure Transparency of Public Servants Recruitment

    TN0035, 2016, Capacity Building

  29. Strengthening Legal Framework for Corruption Fight

    TN0001, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  30. Developing an Integrated Electronic Civil Petition and Corruption Reporting Platform

    TN0002, 2014, E-Government

  31. Publishing an Annual Report on Audit Activities in Public Sector

    TN0003, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  32. Review of the Legal Framework of Personal Data Protection and Ensuring Conformity with Article 24 of Tunisian Constitution

    TN0004, 2014, Human Rights

  33. Developing an Open Data Portal

    TN0005, 2014, Infrastructure & Transport

  34. Preparing a National Corporate Governance Repository

    TN0006, 2014, E-Government

  35. Establishing a Legal Framework That Regulates Communication and Interaction Within Public Sector and Between Public Structures and Citizens with Usage of ICT

    TN0007, 2014, E-Government

  36. Simplifying Administrative Procedures

    TN0008, 2014, E-Government

  37. Develop a Number of Administrative Services On-Line

    TN0009, 2014, E-Government

  38. Enhancing People Participation in the Decision-Making Process

    TN0010, 2014, E-Government

  39. Capacity-Building of Civil Servants and Citizens in the Area of Open Governance

    TN0011, 2014, Capacity Building

  40. Creation of a Structure Specialized in Training in the Governance Area

    TN0012, 2014, Capacity Building

  41. Publication of Budget Reports

    TN0013, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  42. Development of the Open Budget System

    TN0014, 2014, Fiscal Openness

  43. Use of the Data Extracted from the Application Dedicated to Budget Management (Adeb) in Public Sector

    TN0015, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  44. Publication of Reports Related to Attribution and Execution of Public Procurement and Audit Results

    TN0016, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  45. Publication of Recommandations Included in Audit Reports of Public Procurement

    TN0017, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  46. Development of an "Open Data" Platform Dedicated to Information Dealing with Oil and Mine Sector Investment

    TN0018, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  47. Improve Transparency in the Area of Infrastructure Projects

    TN0019, 2014, Infrastructure & Transport

  48. Devoting Transparency in the Environment Field

    TN0020, 2014, E-Government

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