Angola and Sao Tome and Principe budgets amongst 10 least transparent in the world, survey finds

4 February 2009

Lisbon, Portugal, 4 Feb – Angola and Sao Tome and Principe are amongst the tem countries in the world with the least transparent State Budgets, ranking 76th and 85th, respectively out of 85 countries analysed by the Open Budget Index 2008.

The report, which is available on the International Budget Partnership (IBP) website, under “Open Budgets Change Lives”, covers just three Portuguese-speaking countries, the third of which is Brazil, which was placed eighth as it “provides significant information to the population about the Federal Government budget and financial activities throughout the financial year.”

The survey, which was based on data collected up to 28 September 2007, noted that “80 percent of the world’s governments do not provide enough information to the population to post accounts of how they manage their money.”

It also noted that half of the 85 countries analysed, “provide such limited information that it is possible to hide unpopular, loss-making and corrupt spending,” and only five countries provide wide-ranging information,” about state budgets.

In the countries with the most open budgets – United Kingdom, South Africa, France, New Zealand and the United States – “all citizens can have access to information about how much is channelled to different types of spending, which revenues have come in and how international aid and other public resources are used,” the survey said.

In the report on Angola the main problems pointed out were not providing the budget proposal to the population (in 2008 the information was placed in the Finance ministry website for the first time) and the difficulty in accessing data on spending, revenues and loans during the financial year.

In Sao Tome and Principe, the lack of transparency is greater as the proposal is not made available to the population before it is approved by parliament, no final report is published about the financial year and the Government does not make the audit report public, nor does it provide information about whether the recommendations from this document have been successfully applied. (macauhub)