Ministry of Finance tops 2020 open budget index rankings hinh anh 1Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – With 66.63 points, the Ministry of Finance tops the 2020 Ministry Open Budget Index (MOBI), followed by the Ministry of Justice with 48.41 points.

The information was announced by Nguyen Quang Thuong, Deputy Director of the Centre for Development and Integration (CDI) at a ceremony to announce Vietnam’s 2020 MOBI on June 16. The index was commissioned by the CDI and the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research with funding provided by Oxfarm in Vietnam.

Thuong said the 2020 MOBI results showed that the level of budget disclosure of ministries and agencies at the central level has not improved remarkably compared to last year.

There are still many agencies that have not yet disclosed or fully disclosed as required under the provisions of the 2015 State Budget Law and the MoF’s Circular 61/2017/TT-BTC and Circular 90/2018/TT- BTC, he said.

The 2020 MOBI average point is 21.64, equals to that of 2019 MOBI.

Regarding availability, there are 27 agencies and organisations out of 44 surveyed agencies that have publicly disclosed at least one budget document (accounting for 61.36 percent), an increase of three units compared to the 2019’s survey.

However, there are still 17 ministries and central agencies that did not publicise any documents at the time of the survey, equivalent to 38.64 percent.

The MOBI 2020 survey results showed that they have not promptly disclosed budget documents as required. Of the 19 units that have published documents on the 2021 budget estimate, only six have announced it on time - within 15 days from December 31, 2020.

MOBI index aims to assess the openness and transparency of the State budget and the execution of the 2015 State Budget Law, thereby, bolstering trust of the public and development partners in the field in Vietnam, Thuong said.

2020 is the third year in a row that the MOBI index has been announced.

Nguyen Duc Thanh, Director of the Vietnam Center for Economic and Strategic Studies (VESS) said: While the level of publicity and transparency of the provinces has continuously improved (through assessment by POBI index annually), the central agencies have not made any significant progress, even though the 2015 State Budget Law has long been in effect.

“It is disappointed because central agencies have failed to set an example of building a rule-governed state and at the same time show a lack of accountability to the people,” he said.

Thanh said that it is time for the National Assembly to promote its supervisory role in promoting the openness and transparency of the public financial system.

He suggested the Government request ministries and central agencies to publicise the budget in line with legal regulations and issue sanctions to handle units that fail to do so.

The State Audit Office of Vietnam should include publicity and transparency on budget documents of ministries and agencies at the central level in its tasks, Thanh said./.