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MOBI (Ministry Open Budget Index) 2018 Launch workshop in Ha Noi
12:08:15 14/08/2019

On July 30, 2019, the MOBI (Ministry Open Budget Index) 2018 Launch workshop was held in Ha Noi. MOBI 2018 is the first online survey done to measure the disclosure of budget documents by central govermental agencies and ministries on the portals. 37 agencies and ministries have been surveyed this year. This online survey was implemented by the BTAP with the implementation role of CDI.

MOBI 2018 assessed the disclosure level of some budget documents according to four following criteria including availability, timeliness, convenience and sufficiency of six budget documents that are entitiled to be posted on the agencies’ portals according to Clause 1, Article 15, Law on State Budget 2015 and Circular 61/2017 / TT-BTC. Sixe required budget documents are plan of state budget revenue and expenditure, Report on the planned state budget implementation by 1st quarter, Report on planned state budget implementation by six months, Report on planned state budget implementation by 9 months, Report on planned state budget implementation by the whole year, Final settlement of state budget revenues and expenditures. According to the four public criteria, required budget documents should be made public within 15 days after the official approval. The documents must be posted in folder Open Budget in convenient formats for reusage such as word, excel, pdf. In addition, the ministries and central agencies should publish all forms, templates and contents according to regulations.

MOBI 2018 results show a not positive result about the budget document disclosure done by ministries and central agencies: 17 out of 37 (equal to ~46%) ministries and central agencies have got records in MOBI 2018 survey, in which 5 of them have Open Budget folder without contents inside. The average score is 11 (on a scale of 100). The one with the highest score is Vietnam Television Station, which reached only 21.9.

When the relation between MOBI 2018 score and the 2019 budget allocation among minitries is considered, there is another story to say: The Ministry of Transport, that is allocated with the largest total budget among 40 ministries and agencies (58.56 trillion VND in 2019) achieved just 3.7 in  MOBI 2018 bandscore. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education and Training that have been allocated budget estimates in the top do not have any budget documents disclosed in their portals.

When MOBI 2018 results are analyzed in terms of criteria, there comes to the following analysis:

On Availability: 2019 budget estimation is the most disclosed document, though only 10 ministries and agencies have disclosed that document on their portals (approximately 27%). Report on budget expenditure by quarter is the least disclosed document, even none is disclosed.

On Fullness: Fullness means budget documents are open with a clearification report and other relevant statistics so that reader can independently read the report between the lines, make out meanings of the statistics, development trend or improvement of the in-charge agencies. The survey shows that documents disclosed by Ministries and central agencies did not include clarification reports or relevant charts or tables as required in Circular 61 / TT-BCT.

On Timeliness: 1 out of 10 surveyed agencies have their Budget estimation documents disclosed in time was Ministry of Industry and Trade. 4 agencies published their Final settlement documents in time includes the Ministry of Home Affairs, Vietnam Television Station, the Committee for Ethnic Minorities and the Academy of Social Sciences. Other agencies published the documents but not within the required time frame.

On Convenience: 17 agencies have recorded for this criterion. 5 agencies have had Open budget folders on their portals without contents inside including MOT, MPI, MoJ, Ministry of Science and Technology, MICs.

In order to enhance transparency, accountability and public budget management, MOBI 2018 and POBI (Provincial Budget Index) 2018 showed an overview of the disclosure level of budget documents in Viet Nam. By this way, not only people, experts and stakeholders can have a look and participate in budget management but it helps to increase public trust in budget management and disclosure and improve the efficiency of budget revenues and expenditures from local to central levels as well.

MOBI 2018 can be summarized in the clip as follows:

Some recommendations are suggested for upcoming year rounds of MOBI as follows:

To Ministries and governmental agencies:

  • Ministries and central agencies are suggested to take responsibility in proactive disclosure of all types of budget documents as regulated in the open budget section. • Disclosure documents must be attached to Disclosure decision by relevant authorities. • The tables must follow the guidelines of the MoF in Circular 61/2017/TT-BTC and Circular No. 90/2018/TT-BTC. • Disclosure documents should be in word or excel file for convenient usage. • In implementation of disclosure, the ministries and central agencies should feedback to MoF if there are difficulties.

To the Parliarment:

  • Closely monitor budget disclosure implementation in accordance with the Law on supervision of the National Assembly and the People’s Council 2015. • The National Assembly can consider the state budget disclosure implementation by ministries and central agencies as a criterion in assess ministries and central agencies performance. • Define supervisory responsibilities in details and assign to Finance and Budget Committee of the National Assembly as an annual task.

To MoF:

  • The MoF needs to provide further guidance on disclosure directory, format of disclosure documents and the storage period as prescribed in Clause 3, Article 19, Law on Access to Information 2016. • There should be more specific guidance on the timeline for publication of some budget documents by ministries and central agencies such as Draft budget estimates, State budget estimates, State budget settlement • Well-communicate on the guidelines and process so that interested parties can follow.

To the State Audit:

  • Audit the present implementation and compliance of agencies on disclosure and transparency of state budget in regulated ministries and agencies.