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NEWSLETTER #25
Collaborating with #OpenGovCan to advance Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Participation
April 23
     GIFT teamed up with the Canadian Government and Civil Society as the Multi-stakeholder Forum on Open Government works to shape priorities and commitments for Canada’s 4th OGP National Action Plan, 2018-2020. In a remote participation at a Forum’s workshop, GIFT Network director, Juan Pablo Guerrero, advised that Canada can make progress on fiscal transparency and participation oversight by building a fiscal data portal that responds to user’s needs that links budget and transactional data; and setting up mechanisms to engage citizens in the budget process (including budget formulation and monitoring); and fully adopt the Open Contracting Standard. He referred to the IMF Fiscal Transparency Evaluation as a valuable resource for guidance, as well.

     The open government team, on behalf of the Government of Canada, will be working with civil society and interested stakeholders to collect and evolve ideas, and draft the NAP, shaping and co-creating commitments, for a final publication on August. We will keep you posted!
GIFT at the Regional Launch of the OBS: Strengthening Open Budget Practices in Asia and the Pacific
Manila, Philippines- May 7-9

     Aiming to analyze budget practices and public service performance using international tools and assessments, to share peer practices and experiences, and develop national roadmaps for advancing fiscal transparency and participation, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the ADB Institute (ADBI), the International Budget Partnership (IBP), and the OECD organized a technical workshop. A main feature of the meeting was the analysis of the results of the Open Budget Survey 2017 by finance ministries representatives and independent civil society budget groups.

     The workshop convened senior budget officials and representatives from civil society from 9 countries in the Asia and Pacific region --including
GIFT Stewards: the Department of Budget and Management of the Philippines, the Ministry of Finance of Indonesia and FITRA, and the World Bank-- to discuss open budget practices in individual countries and the region. The workshop’s program featured discussions on fiscal transparency and participation norms, and standards of budget transparency and participation, with an emphasis on country perspectives of transparency and participation reforms. Participants reflected on country strategies to promote actions to advance fiscal transparency and participation, identifying key priorities in each country. Moreover, organizers facilitated a discussion of peer-to-peer learning, and technical support for the implementation of such reforms.

This was an #OpenGovWeek event.

UPCOMING EVENTS
Latin America Regional Launch of the OBS in Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo, May 15-17
     The Ministry of the Treasury of the Dominican Republic and the International Budget Partnership (IBP), GIFT Stewards, along with the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) are hosting the Strengthening Open Budget Practices in Latin America and the Caribbean technical workshop.  IBP will present the global and regional results of the 2017 OBS and will facilitate a peer discussion of the country specific results. GIFT network director will lead a public participation session, aimed to analyze the new public participation indicators in the OBS, which are based on GIFT’s Public Participation Principles; share and discuss tools and practices that countries can implement to advance fiscal transparency and participation; and to identify peer support for technical collaboration. Partners and Stewards from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, and Paraguay, as well as representatives from Ecuador and Peru will attend the workshop
GIFT will participate in the 14thAnnual Meeting of the OECD Regional Network of Central, Eastern & South-Eastern European Senior Budget Officials
Zagreb, Croatia- May 24-25
     The meeting will be hosted by GIFT Steward, the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Croatia. Discussions will center on trends in budget transparency and public participation, and common challenges in the region and more globally, drawing on new data from the OECD Budget Practices and Procedures Survey and the IBP’s OBS pen Budget Survey. Moreover, delegates, joined by CSO experts, will develop a shared roadmap with concrete measures to improve disclosure of budget information and public participation. The results of these discussions will be used to inform a regional ministerial meeting planned alongside the Open Government Partnership Global Summit in Tbilisi in July
2018.
Digital Tools, Information Technology and Citizen Engagement, a GIFT Workshop in Zagreb, Croatia
May 23
     In the framework of the 14thAnnual Meeting of the OECD Regional Network of CESEE-SBO, the GIFT coordination team will hold the Digital Tools, Information Technology and Citizen Engagement Workshop. The workshop, which will be attended by PEMPAL country representatives, will be organized in three modules: fiscal transparency portals, targeting the audience, and use of social media. The workshop will be co-facilitated by GIFT Lead Steward, Secretariat of the Treasury and Public Credit of Mexico. Representatives from Croatia and Ukraine (GIFT stewards),  Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Armenia, Georgia, the Neverlands, Russia Federation, Bulgaria, Belarus and the Kyrgyz Republic will attend the meeting. The objectives are to frame the importance of using information and communication technologies to improve fiscal transparency and promote citizen engagement, illustrating with examples and lessons learned of the benefits of the use of social media channels and disclosure of budget information in open data; and also, to identify areas of collaboration, where the GIFT network could offer further support and technical collaboration.
NEW RESOURCES
Don’t miss the new tutorial on disclosing and using budget open data, by Mexico’s SHCP and GIFT!
     At the request of GIFT Stewards to have practical resources that explain how to implement a fiscal transparency policy with open data as a fundamental pillar, based on the successful experience of GIFT Stewards, the Mexican Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) -GIFT Lead Steward- and GIFT have produced a new Tutorial launched this month. The tutorial is composed of a series of ten 1-4 minutes that address the what, how and for what of an open data policy to disclose and communicate budget information.

Learn more about Open Data!
 
#DíasDeDatos
#StayTuned from May 10 to June 7 every #MartesDeTutorial & #JuevesDeTutorial for new Tutorial videos!
The IMF Fiscal Forum brings the OECD, IMF and GIFT together to launch the IMF Fiscal Transparency Handbook and OECD Budget Transparency Toolkit
Check out Juan Pablo Guerrero’s new blogpost!
COMMUNITY WALL
PFMx: IMF launches the Massive Open Online Course on Public Financial Management from May 9 to July 4, 2018
     In this MOOC, the IMF staff from the Fiscal Affairs Department explains how well designed public finance management institutions support economic policy objectives, inclusive growth, and the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDG), with an emphasis of the information that the public needs to hold governments accountable. This is a 5 part course that presents the budget cycle and the challenges that governments are facing, and it is supported with an online discussion forum. The course is intended for PFM officials, donor institutions staff, specialized CSO or anyone interested in PFM.
Check out the PFMx at  
imf.org/moocs !
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHvxtW_ypwU
IMF new Framework for Stepping up Engagement on Governance and Corruption in Member Countries
     This paper proposes the adoption of a framework that would supplement the 1997 Fund’s Guidance Note on the Role of the Fund in Governance Issues, adopted by the Executive Board (the “1997 Governance Policy”). While the 1997 Governance Policy remains an appropriate basis for the Fund’s work in this area, further guidance from the Executive Board is needed to ensure that the objectives of that policy are achieved. Experience over the past 20 years has underscored the critical impact that governance issues can have on the Fund’s work. Of particular concern is the evidence that corruption can have a pernicious effect on a country’s ability to achieve sustainable, inclusive economic growth.
As requested by the Executive Board, the proposed “Framework for Enhanced Fund Engagement” is designed to promote more systematic, effective, and candid engagement with member countries regarding those governance vulnerabilities, including corruption, that are judged to be macroeconomically critical. Perhaps most importantly, the application of the Framework for Enhanced Fund Engagement to all members on a systematic basis will enhance evenhandedness. Finally, the Framework is designed to strengthen the global fight against corruption by promoting governmental measures that prevent private actors from offering bribes or providing services that enable the proceeds of corrupt acts to be concealed, particularly in the transnational context.

See:
http://www.imf.org/en/Publications/Policy-Papers/Issues/2018/04/20/pp030918-review-of-1997-guidance-note-on-governance
Christine Lagarde’s Blog post:
https://blogs.imf.org/2018/04/22/shining-a-bright-light-into-the-dark-corners-of-weak-governance-and-corruption/
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