According to the newly released global Open Budget Survey (OBS) 2019, Viet Nam's budget transparency score has increased sharply compared to previous assessments, reaching 38/100 points for Transparency, an increase of 23 points compared to 2017; 11/100 points for Public Participation, an increase of 4 points compared to 2017; 74/100 points for Budget Oversight, an increase of 2 points compared to 2017. Viet Nam ranked 77th out of 117 countries, jumping 14 places compared to 2017.
The Budget Transparency Survey (OBS) is an initiative to promote budget transparency, conducted by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) biannually since 2006 and implemented in over 100 countries around the world; thereby giving points to assess the level of budget transparency of countries and economies in the three pillars of public budget accountability. During the survey, through a civil society organization in Viet Nam, the Center for Development and Integration (CDI), IBP conducted assessments and provided evidence to answer survey questions. At the same time, IBP invited the participation of representatives of Governments. In Viet Nam, the Ministry of Finance took lead and coordinated with the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the State Audit Office and the National Assembly's Office to provide comments and additional documents to answer survey questions.
According to the ranking of the 2019 OBS with the above-mentioned three pillars, Viet Nam is assessed to have made remarkable efforts and progresses regarding the level of budget transparency. With the application of the provisions of the 2015 State Budget Law (effective from the 2017 budget year), the scope, subjects, content and form of budget disclosure are much wider than before. In particular, the disclosure of data and accompanying reports on State budget estimates submitted by the Government to the National Assembly, together with the Citizens Budget in a simple and easy-to-understand language enable citizens to easily grasp information, thereby increasing their interest and active participation in the process of budget preparation and supervision.
Notably, Viet Nam has published seven out of eight key budget documents that need to be made public , in which the Citizens Budget is compiled and published for the executive budget proposal submitted to the National Assembly and the enacted budget decided by the National Assembly. The mid-year review is the only budget document of Viet Nam that has not been recognized as an interim report in line with international practices by the IBP, as the review has yet to provide quantitative information on State budget forecast for the whole year, although the review is reported to the Government and disclosed by the Ministry of Finance. This is a unique feature of Viet Nam, as the National Assembly conducts the year-end meeting session in late October, so the time when the Ministry of Finance assesses the state budget execution for the whole year to report to the Government and the National Assembly is about 20 days later than international standards (IBP stipulates that mid-term report shall be published by September 30 of the reporting year).
In the coming time, the Ministry of Finance will continue to perform well State budget disclosure and speed up the application of information technology in budget disclosure to create favorable conditions for citizens to access and make use of State budget information. Along with that, the Ministry of Finance will guide and supervise localities and ministries/sectors to properly disclose information in accordance with the provisions of the SBL. At the same time, the Ministry of Finance will continue to strengthen the propaganda for citizens to enhance their awareness and attract their attention on the situation of budget disclosure, especially in their localities to perform well the role of inspecting and supervising the budget execution at central and local levels.