Kuala Lumpur, 11 September 2019: The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) applauds the government’s efforts in implementing best practices in their preparations to table the national budget that in Parliament on 11 October this year.
On 21 August 2019, the NBO invited IDEAS to seek inputs on the institutional reforms for the Budget 2020 speech. IDEAS presented several recommendations on eight issues related to integrity and transparency of the budget.
Among the issues and recommendations that were discussed are on the areas of political financing, government procurement, fiscal responsibility, federal-state fiscal allocation, subsidies and the Bumiputera agenda. The underlying principle behind most of the recommendations provided was for the government to practise disclosure, transparency and accountability in its decision-making processes. IDEAS also made a few recommendations on how the government should improve their score in the Open Budget Survey (OBS) that will be published by the end of 2019.
Suggestions on improving the OBS include to publish certain documents such as the Mid-Year Review, the Pre-Budget Statement and the Citizen’s Budget in the next cycle, improve the comprehensiveness of the Enacted Budget, and to improve the Executive Budget Proposal (EBP) which consists of the Budget Speech, Anggaran Perbelanjaan Kerajaan Persekutuan, Anggaran Hasil Kerajaan Persekutuan and Economic Report.
“The government committed to ensuring a more transparent budgeting process in the Buku Harapan. We are encouraged that the NBO is seriously looking into an internationally recognised standard like the OBS and are committed to improving our score,” commented Aira Azhari, Senior Executive in Democracy and Governance at IDEAS.
“We would like to thank the National Budget Office at the Ministry of Finance for involving civil society in the budget planning process. We look forward to giving more inputs throughout the budget preparation process leading up to the budget announcement later this October,” concludes Aira.
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