Open Budget Survey

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SAI Independence Resource Kit

Open Budget Survey

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The Open Budget Survey provides valuable insights into global progress on oversight and good governance, including SAI independence.

Donor's corner

The Open Budget Survey helps you to compare SAI independence regionally and globally, and can be cited in advocacy efforts when working with governments and civil society organizations.

What is the Open Budget Survey?

The Open Budget Survey (OBS) is an annual report issued by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) which provides an independent and comparative measure of fiscal transparency, public participation, and oversight at the central government level. The survey measures government practices against international standards on the timeliness and amount of budget information made publicly available, on the extent of meaningful opportunities for public participation in the budget process, and on the role of formal oversight institutions

The OBS was first launched in 2006, and since there it has provided a yearly review on government progress in key areas of transparency and accountability. Over 70 countries have been consistently measured during this period, while the latest OBS in 2019 included 117 countries. Information for the survey comes from civil society groups and independent budget experts.

What does the OBS tell us about SAI independence?

The OBS includes questions on SAI independence. For the SAI, the OBS looks at the independence of the appointment and removal of the SAI head, whether the SAI has sufficient funding, and whether the audit systems are subject to external review.

The 2019 survey showed that the legislature or the judiciary, rather than the executive, authorizes the SAI head appointment in 68 percent of countries and the removal of the SAI head in 79 percent of countries.

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