Portugal’s budget transparency still poor

Portugal now has a more open national budget than previous years but at a European level the country still ranks in the bottom places in the Open Budget Index, according to an official report.

The ranking is led by New Zealand (93%), South Africa (90%) and the UK (88%), while Portugal ranks only 21st with a transparency rate of 62%, which is animprovement on the 58% recorded in 2010.

This evaluation puts Portugal in the second best group in providing relevant information about the national budget.

Among the European Union (EU) countries, the UK leads the ranking, followed by Sweden and France, in the group of countries providing “extensive information” about their budgets.

Compared with the 13 EU countries analysed in the report, Portugal does not fare well, only ahead of Italy, Poland and Romania regarding budget transparency.

Portugal is criticized for not presenting a “citizens budget”, a simplified document allowing the common citizen to understand the main points of the State Budget.

Portugal is also at fault for not presenting a mid-year review detailing the budget’s economic impact and which estimates need to be updated.

The 2012 Survey, by the International Budget Partnership, reveals that the national budgets of 77 of the 100 countries assessed fail to meet basic standards of budget transparency.