Illustrative Image (Photo:cafef.vn)
Vietnamese legislative and auditing agencies scored a respective 61 and 75 points on a 100-point scale in terms of budget oversight, as announced in the 2015 Open Budget Index (OBI) by the International Budget Partnership (IBP). 

Budget oversight measures the capacity and authority of formal institutions (such as legislatures and supreme audit institutions) to understand and influence how public resources are being raised and spent. 

The OBI results indicate that the monitoring of budget plan development in Vietnam is adequate yet budget implementation remains limited. 

Currently, the National Assembly Budget and Finance Committee acts as the legislative agency of Vietnam, yet there is no separate budget research and analysis sectors in line with international practices. 

Vietnam scored only 18 out of 100 points in the OBI in terms of budget transparency – which measures the amount, level of detail and timeliness of budget information governments. 

Compared to regional countries, the level of budget transparency in Vietnam is higher than that of China, Cambodia and Myanmar but is much lower than that of other Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. The global average is 45 point. 

In 2012, Vietnam scored 19 out of 100 points in the field. 

Regarding budget participation, which reflects opportunities governments are providing to civil society and the general public to engage in decisions about how public resources are raised and spent, Vietnam posted 42 out of 100 points, higher than the global average of 25 points and above that of regional nations such as China, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. 

To increase the budget transparency, the IBP suggested Vietnam announce the Government’s budget proposal as well as the extent of the audit report within six months and no later than 18 months after the end of the fiscal year. 

In addition, Vietnam should implement and publish evaluation reports on mid-year budgets. 

The International Budget Partnership’s Open Budget Survey (OBS) is the world’s only independent, comparable measure of budget transparency, participation and oversight. 

The 2015 OBS evaluates 102 countries from around the world and measures three aspects of how governments are managing public finances for its OBI rankings.-VNA