Macedonias Open Budget Index score drops to 49 in 2010.

By bne IntelliNews October 20, 2010
The Open Budget Index score of Macedonia has decreased from 54 in 2008 to 49 (out of 100) in 2010, according to the Open Budget Survey, released by International Budget Partnership (IBP). Information published on the website of Macedonian Centre for Research and Policy Making, regional partner of IBP, reveals that the score of 49 is still higher than the average of 42 for the surveyed 92 countries. Yet, it is below the average for the surveyed five Balkan countries, the other four being Bosnia and Herzegovina (score of 44), Serbia (54), Croatia (57) and Slovenia (70). The score of 49 means that the government provides the public with only some information on the central governments budget and financial activities during the course of the budget year. The recommendations of the report are that the authorities should: (i) introduce a pre-budget statement and a citizens budget; (ii) boost the comprehensiveness of the executives budget proposal, mid-year review, and year-end report; and (iii) create more opportunities for the public to testify at legislative hearings on the budget. The results of the survey were reportedly questioned by the cabinet of finance minister Zoran Stavreski, which pointed out that there was no change in the legislation since 2008 and the budget is now being prepared earlier than in previous years. It was also pointed out that the ministry of finance was not consulted when conducting the survey.

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