Vietnam makes stride in budget transparency hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) – The transparency of State budget, especially budget allocation and use, will help the public monitor the use of their tax payments more reasonably and effectively.

The Vietnamese Government and Finance Ministry have strived to deliver on commitments on the use and management of public resources so that the public could join discussions on budget, including legal and budget governance institution reform in a more transparent manner.

The statement was made by Director of the Centre for Development and Integration (CDI) Ngo Minh Huong at a ceremony to announce Vietnam’s Open Budget Index (OBI) and Ministry Open Budget Index (MOBI) 2019. The indexes were commissioned by the CDI and the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research.

Increasing budget transparency

According to Huong, budget transparency indexes aims to assess the openness and transparency of State budget management, thereby bolstering trust of the public and development partners in the field in Vietnam. It is the seventh time the OBI has been announced globally and in Vietnam, and the second time for the MOBI.

The result survey showed that Vietnam has made progress in budget transparency at the national and ministerial level, but further improvements could be made to better enforce the 2015 State Budget Law, Huong said.

Specifically, the Open Budget Survey (OBS) makes independent review based on evidence and international criteria for budget transparency.

The OBS was carried out by the International Budget Partnership and independent social organisations in more than 100 countries worldwide. In Vietnam, the CDI is a partner of the IBP to conduct the survey since 2012.

Huong said Vietnam’s OBI rose and fell slightly during 2010-2017, but rapidly hiked in 2019.

Vietnam moves up to 77th place out of 117 countries

The OBS 2019 survey showed that Vietnam's rankings improved in the three pillars of public budget accountability – transparency, public participation and oversight. Particularly, Vietnam's ranking in terms of budget transparency in the OBS 2019 reached 38 out of 100 points, up 23 points compared to the 2017 review period. Strong increase in the pillar of budget transparency contributed to bringing Vietnam to the 77th place out of 117 countries, up 14 places.

It was partly attributable to Vietnam’s publication of seven out of eight key budget documents, including orientations to budget estimate building, draft budget estimate for submission to the National Assembly, budget estimate approved by the legislature, citizen budget report, reports on the implementation of quarterly and annual budget estimates, and budget audit report.

About public participation in the OBS 2019, the average point of 117 participating nations is 14 out of 100. Vietnam scored 11 point, up 4 point from the OBS 2017.

On budget oversight, Vietnam is among 30 countries to have full ratings of the NA and State Audit Office’s role in State budget supervision with 74 out of 100 points, up two points from the 2017 review. Of which, score of the NA’s supervisory role is 72 out of 100 points and that of the State Audit Office is 78 out of 100 points.

Meanwhile, the MOBI 2019 measured the level of budget transparency by 44 ministries and central-level agencies, reaching 21.2 point, up 10.2 point from the MOBI 2018.

About rankings in the MOBI 2019, the State Bank of Vietnam took the lead with 73.17 point, followed by the Vietnam Television with 49.56 point.

Senior economist Nguyen Duc Thanh, a member of the Budget Transparency, Accountability and Participation (BTAP) Alliance asked central-level agencies to set better example in law abidance, contributing to building a full law-governed State in Vietnam.

Researchers suggested that the State Audit of Vietnam should add budget document transparency into compliance audit contents in ministries, departments and central-level agencies. The Government was also urged to request ministries and central-level agencies disclose their budget, as well as report legal enforcement of budget disclosure to the NA, NA Standing Committee and State President in line with legal regulations./.