PI-9. PUBLIC ACCESS TO FISCAL INFORMATION
ABOUT THE INDICATOR
This indicator assesses the comprehensiveness of fiscal information available to the public based on specified elements of information to which public access is considered critical. There is one dimension for this indicator – dimension 9.1. Public access to information.
IMPACT ON BUDGET OUTCOMES
Fiscal transparency depends on whether information on government fiscal plans, positions, and performance is easily accessible to the general public. Similar to PI-5. Budget documentation, the range and relevance of information available to the public affects their ability to engage with government and understand how public resources are being used. It can contribute to better resource allocation by strengthening dialogue between government and interested stakeholders and can also lead to improvements in service delivery. If the public is more aware of the trade-offs being made by government in allocating scarce public resources, it can reduce pressure on the government to adopt unrealistic and unsustainable fiscal policy options.
INDICATOR MEASUREMENT GUIDANCE
9:1. The indicator is assessed based on public access to information which is considered critical to effective understanding of the budget. Public access is defined as availability without restriction, within a reasonable time, without a requirement to register, and free of charge, unless otherwise justified in relation to specific country circumstances. Justification provided by government for limits on access, where applicable, should be noted in the report.
9:2. The assessment includes five basic elements of fiscal information that are considered the most important to enable the public to understand fiscal
position and four additional elements that are considered to be good practice.
Dimension 9.1. Public access to fiscal information
DIMENSION MEASUREMENT GUIDANCE
9.1:1. The elements are as follows:
- Annual executive budget proposal documentation. A complete set of executive budget proposal documents (as presented by the country in PI-5) is available to the public within one week of the executive’s submission of them to the legislature.
- Enacted budget. The annual budget law approved by the legislature is publicized within two weeks of passage of the law.
- In-year budget execution reports. The reports are routinely made available to the public within one month of their issuance, as assessed in PI-285 .
- Annual budget execution report. The report is made available to the public within six months of the fiscal year’s end.
- Audited annual financial report, incorporating or accompanied by the external auditor’s report. The reports are made available to the public within twelve months of the fiscal year’s end.
- Prebudget statement. The broad parameters for the executive budget proposal regarding planned expenditure, revenue and debt is made available to the public at least four months before the start of the fiscal year.
- Other external audit reports. All nonconfidential reports on central government consolidated operations6 are made available to the public within six months of submission.
5 The 2016 Framework incorrectly refers to PI-27.
6 Also, includes performance audits, compliance audits, etc.
PEFA Handbook Volume 1: The PEFA Assessment Process – Planning, Managing and Using PEFA