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NEWSLETTER #15

OECD Budget Transparency Toolkit just launched

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development launched the Budget Transparency Toolkit with Practical steps for supporting openness, integrity and accountability in Public Financial Management, on July 7. The Toolkit is a very important, timely, practical resource for practitioners and decision makers and all those who are interested in advancing budget transparency in our community. It provides a concise reference of actions and steps to improve budget transparency and delivers a new comprehensive resource which comes from the guidance produced by the international community in the last five years.
 
During 2016, a working group coordinated by
GIFT was formed to support this effort by the OECD, which signifies an important contribution to the concert of tools for advancing fiscal transparency. With a tool to navigate the standards, it presents a synthesis of insights gained from the complementary work of the different bodies that are active in the field. It also serves as a gateway to the various available reference materials. Furthermore, it helps countries self-assess their level of budget transparency, while providing ways forward.
 
Make sure you use it and spread the word about this meaningful contribution to our field!
http://www.oecd.org/governance/budgeting/budget-transparency-toolkit.htm

     GIFT is looking for experiences that can tell a compelling story of viable approaches of how governments around the world are integrating the voice of citizens in the way public resources are raised and spent. Submit your story by August 25th! Find information on the Public Participation in Fiscal Policy and Budget Making GIFT Award here.

     If your practice is selected, you will be invited to present it at the Fiscal Openness Working Group panel during the Open Government Partnership Regional Summit, Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 21 & 22, 2017! (GIFT will cover expenses, including airfare, lodging, meals and local transportation,) for the person responsible for presenting the submission). Your piece will also be included as a mechanism of the Guide on Public Participation in Fiscal Policy Principles and Mechanisms (GIFT team will adjust or complete drafting to comply with the Guide’s format and standard); and it will be documented, including video interview and communication materials, to be disseminated worldwide through the GIFT network and network alliances.

UPCOMING GIFT EVENTS

October General Stewards Meeting

     Our next GIFT General Stewards Meeting will take place on October 10-11, in the Washington DC area. The meeting will be hosted by GIFT Steward, MITRE Corporation, and among other topics, two will be at the center of discussions: budget information disclosure in open data, focusing on the most recent US experience with the implementation of the Open Data Act and the USASpending.gov; and the importance of public participation in the tax side of public finance management, looking at the experience of some of the GIFT member countries.

WHAT'S NEW
Public Participation in Fiscal Policies: Where do we Start?
Tania Sánchez Andrade
Research & Learning Manager - GIFT
What is the importance of having a Guide on Public Participation?
Vincent Tophoff
Senior Technical Manager - International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), GIFT's Lead Steward
COMMUNITY WALL
A new online database of multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs)
     To increase public understanding of an emerging source of international standards for responsible business and government conduct, MSI Integrity, the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, and Miller & Chevalier have published the MSI Database, available at www.msi-database.org, catalogues information about the scope, governance, and operation of transnational standard-setting MSIs.
 
     In recent years, prominent companies, governments, civil society organizations, and community groups have increasingly collaborated in voluntary initiatives – commonly known as MSIs – focused on addressing the human rights and environmental impacts of international business operations and other matters of broad public interest. As such, MSIs are powerfully shaping the global governance landscape and the standards to which companies are held.

     In particular, the database sets out information regarding:
  • Industries in which MSIs operate
  • Participation of different stakeholder groups in MSI governance
  • Involvement of affected communities
  • Whether MSIs reference international human rights or environmental law
  • Whether MSIs require independent evaluations of members
  • Whether MSIs require publicly available reports of evaluations
  • Whether MSIs provide a mechanism for external complaints
  • Whether MSIs have authority to sanction members
     The MSI Database features the results of data collected in 2016 by MSI Integrity and the Duke Human Rights Center at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, with the support of Miller & Chevalier as pro bono counsel for this project.
Inform Women. Transform Lives.
     The Carter’s Center Global Access to Information Program just released its first animated video, which highlights the Global Access to Information Program’s efforts to empower women by helping them obtain potentially life-changing information. At just over 90 seconds, it offers a brief but powerful look at some of the struggles women around the world face because they lack information — and the difference that information can make.
How spending data looks in the Global Open Data Index

     The Global Open Data Index has once again shown that spending data ranks poorly against the other open government data categories (14 out of 15). This poor ranking is a result of its accessibility and data quality. In the Index, spending data refers to records of actual (past) national government spending at a detailed transactional level. Data must display ongoing expenditure, including transactions and subsidies. In the Index’s methodology, a database of contracts awarded or similar is not considered sufficient. Open spending data shows whether public money is efficiently and effectively used. It helps to understand spending patterns, and to display corruption, misuse, and waste. It includes: individual record of transactions; government office which had the transaction; date of transaction; name of vendor; amount of the transaction
Check it out:
https://index.okfn.org/dataset/spending/

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Copyright © 2016 Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency - GIFT, All rights reserved.

A multi-stakeholder action network to advance fiscal transparency, participation and accountability worldwide.

Contact us: info@fiscaltransparency.net

 

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