Jordan Achieves Highest Transparency Score in Arab World in 2023 Open Budget Survey

Amman, May 30 (Petra) – The 2023 Open Budget Survey revealed that Jordan received a transparency score of 60 out of 100, maintaining its first-place ranking among 11 Arab countries included in the survey. These countries include Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Qatar, Sudan, and Yemen. Globally, Jordan ranks forty-second out of 125 countries.

Partners – Jordan, a non-profit civil society organization, released on Thursday the results of the survey, highlighting key metrics on transparency, public participation, and budget oversight.

In the public participation axis, Jordan scored 4 out of 100, identical to its performance last year. This ranks Jordan third in the Arab world, following Egypt and Morocco, while the global average for public participation stands at 15 out of 100. This axis measures the opportunities provided to the public for meaningful engagement in the budget process, evaluating the practices of the executive branch, the legislative authority, and the Supreme Audit Institution through 18 indicators.

Regarding budget oversight, Jordan scored 39 out of 100, reflecting weak oversight by the legislative authority and the Audit Bureau. This score remains unchanged from the previous survey.

Partners- Jordan recommended several measures to enhance budget transparency, including timely online publication of the preliminary budget statement and semi-annual review. Additionally, monthly public debt reports should contain comprehensive debt information. The organization also suggested expanding the citizen’s guide to the general budget, ensuring its availability across various platforms, and improving the comprehensiveness of year-end and audit reports.

To bolster public participation in the budget process, the organization advocated for establishing mechanisms to engage the public during budget formulation and implementation. They emphasize involving vulnerable and underrepresented communities and holding public hearings related to the annual budget approval, allowing public and civil society input.

The Audit Bureau, it noted, should prioritize public participation by developing formal mechanisms for public assistance in audit program development and investigations. The legislative authority should discuss budget policy before the executive authority’s budget proposal and submit this proposal at least two months before the budget year begins. Legislative committees should examine and publish their budget analyses and reports online.

The Open Budget Survey is a unique, independent, and comparative tool that evaluates public access to budget information, public participation opportunities in the budget process, and the oversight roles of legislative authorities and national audit offices.

Partners – Jordan, established in 2005, promotes democratic development and citizen participation in social and political life. It is the local partner of the International Budget Partnership Foundation and has conducted the Open Budget Survey for Jordan since 2008.

//Petra// AJ
30/05/2024 10:33:20