The Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA) presented findings of the Open Budget Survey on 21st February 2013, at the Phakalane Golf Estates, Gaborone. The event attracted stakeholders from government, private sector, non-state actors and other development partners. BIDPA was commissioned by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) to carry out a study on Budget Openness in Botswana. The 2012 study was a fourth budget transparency assessment of its kind, having been previously conducted in 2006, 2008 and 2010. One hundred countries participated in the current study.
The Open Budget Survey (OBS) is based on a detailed questionnaire that is used to collect data on the public availability of budget information and other budgeting practices. The questionnaire also covers the extent to which the public can participate during each phase of the budget process, the strength of the legislature as an oversight institution and the role of the country’s national audit office, i.e. the Office of the Auditor General.
Presenting the Key Findings of the Open Budget Survey 2012, Ms. Keneilwe Marata, an Associate Researcher with BIDPA highlighted that, in terms of availing key budget information, the government has been ranked 50 on a scale of 0 – 100. This is a 1 point drop from the 2010 survey where the country was ranked at 51. This drop, she said, can be accounted for by the methodological changes that occurred on the current study. In terms of availing spaces for citizens to participate in the budget process, the country was ranked 19. While legislative oversight was ranked at 58, the country’s Supreme Audit Institution was found to be the strongest in the region, scoring 100 points.