Are the government officials good stewards of public funds?

Better Essays
VOL 18 NO -108 REGD NO DA 1589 | Dhaka, Saturday February 26 2011
Are the government officials good stewards of public funds?

The parliament should play an active role in ensuring the availability and credibility of fiscal information. There should be clear procedure for budget execution, monitoring, and reporting. The accounting system should provide a reliable basis for tracking revenues, commitments, payments, arrears, liabilities, and assets, writes M S Siddiqui

A budget is a government's plan on the use of public resources to meet the citizens' needs. Budget Transparency (BT) means that ordinary citizens can access information about how public resources are allocated and used. Budget Transparency is defined as the
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Bangladesh scored 39, 42 and 48 in 2006, 2008 and 2009 respectively. Bangladesh's performance indicates that the government provided only some information to the public in its budget documents. Bangladesh would greatly strengthen public accountability by producing and publishing pre-budget statements, citizens' budgets, mid-year reviews and year-end reports, and empowering the audit institutions to publish summaries of audit reports.

The government enacted a law titled 'Public Money and Budget Management Act 2009'. As per clause 15(4) of the law, the finance minister shall place a quarterly report before parliament explaining the budget status effective from FY 2009-2010. Two quarterly reports have already been published. These reforms have apparently increased transparency of the budget and this will hopefully improve Bangladesh's score in the next Open Budget Survey. In terms of adequacy and availability of eight key budget documents, Bangladesh now publishes only three documents -executive's budget proposal, enacted budget and in-year reports.

A non-transparent budget can neither be properly analyzed nor can its implementation be effectively monitored. Transparency allows citizens to provide inputs into the budget process and to assess whether a government executed the development plans in accordance with budgetary allocations.

There is no practice of disclosure
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