VietNamNet Bridge – The Open Budget Index (OBI) of Vietnam scored 18 out of 100 points last year, much lower than the global average of 45.


The Budget Transparency, Accountability and Participation (BTAP) Alliance and the International Budget Partnership (IBP) organized the seminar to announce the Open Budget Survey 2015 and share experience in boosting budget transparency.

Vietnam’s OBI in 2015 was seen improving considerably compared to 3/100 in 2006 but smaller than 19/100 in 2012. However, as the global average score in 2015 was 45, Vietnam was still listed in the weakest performing countries with little or no budget information.

In particular, with limited budget information, Indonesia scored 59 points, Malaysia 46 points and Thailand 42 points while the Philippines with substantial information got 62 points.

According to Joel Friedman from IBP, Vietnam needs to work harder to make improvements amid increasingly high international standards of transparency and public participation in budgeting.

The report said Vietnam has not made the budget proposal available to the public and produced a mid-year review.

Vietnam does publish a six-month budget implementation report. But as this document does not include revised macro-economic assumptions of fiscal estimates for the remaining six months of the budget year, it does not qualify as a mid-year review.

Regarding citizen participation in the budgeting process, Vietnam scored 42 out of 100 when providing the public with limited opportunities to engage in. Meanwhile, the world’s score was 25.

Budget oversight by the National Assembly (NA) in Vietnam scored 61 out of 100. The legislature provides adequate oversight during the planning stage of the budget cycle but limited oversight during the implementation stage, according to the report.

However, though the legislature has the Financial and Budgetary Committee for budget analysis, it does not have a specialized budget research office.

The report said in both law and practice, the legislature is not consulted prior to spending contingency funds that were not identified in the enacted budget.

To improve budget transparency, Vietnam is recommended to publish a budget proposal when the draft budget is presented to the NA. Vietnam should also timely publish an audit report, ideally within six months and no later than 18 months after the end of the budget year.

Public engagement in the budgeting process could be enhanced by holding legislative hearings on the budgets of specific ministries, departments and agencies and establishing formal mechanisms for the public to participate in audit investigations.

The Open Budget Survey was conducted by IBP in collaboration with civil society organizations around the world with an aim to make budget systems more transparent and accountable to the public.

The 2015 survey, the fifth of the kind, was implemented from March 2014 to September 2015, with the participation of around 300 experts in 102 countries.

The Vietnamese Government provided comments on the draft Open Budget Questionnaire results, which is the first time the Government has participated in the Open Budget Survey.

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