Financial Management Information Systems and Open Budget Data Do Governments Report on Where the Money Goes?

    In recent years, the topics of budget transparency and open data have been increasingly discussed. Most discussants agree that for true transparency, it is important not only that governments publish budget data on websites, but that the data they disclose are meaningful and provide a full picture of their financial activities to the public. Most governments have made substantial investments in capacity building and technology for the development of financial management information systems (FMIS). The question is, how much of the disclosed information and documents are reliable? What is the scope of disclosed information? Is there any reliable information about important aspects of fiscal discipline and transparency?

     

    Civil society groups and international organizations have developed a number of fiscal transparency instruments and guidelines to evaluate the existence, regularity, and contents of certain key budget documents published in the public domain and assess whether the information complies with international standards. However, these instruments do not concentrate on the source and reliability of published information, or on the integrity of underlying systems and databases from which governments extract data.