Egypt should revise its international, constitutional and legal obligations to address obstacles behind adopting budget transparency, a recent study prepared by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) suggested.
The study called for disclosing the steps for budget preparation, and for simple and clear information for the public to understand. It stressed that the lack of budget transparency violates the rules of democracy.
Countries that are similar to Egypt in the level of income, such as Uganda, have higher level of transparency, the study said.
The public should be aware of the role of the relevant entities in spending or collecting the revenues, in order to be able to practice accountability.
It is also crucial to disclose the expenditure plans and the targets of adopting a certain fiscal policy, and this entails publishing the medium- and long-term fiscal plans, the study said.
The aim of the budget transparency is to allow people to accurately evaluate the financial situation of the country.
The study mentioned three standards of budget transparency, which are: publishing the data of the general budget in a periodic manner; the availability of an effective role of the legislature to review the budget reports to account the government; and the availability of an effective role of the public and civil society to amend the budget policy when needed.
The study has also showed examples of methods of disclosing budget information in other countries where it said these countries disclose any information related public expenditures even if it is outside the state budget.
The study added some expenditures, such as the budgets of some economic units or the business public sector and the holding companies, do not fall under the general budget. However, these are still deemed public expenditures.