Announcement ceremony of Vietnam Open Budget Index (OBI) and Ministry and Central Agency Open Budget Index (MOBI) in 2019


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On July 1, 2020, the Center for Development and Integration (CDI) in collaboration with the Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR) – 2 members of the Alliance for Budget Transparency (BTAP), announced the  Vietnam’s National Open Budget Index (OBI) and the Ministry and Central Agency Open Budget Index (MOBI) 2019. The results showed that Vietnam has made remarkable efforts and progress in terms of budget disclosure and transparency at national and ministerial and sectoral levels. Importantly, Vietnam has a solid basis for further improving the level of openness, transparency, and participation of the public.

1. Open Budget Index (OBI)

Vietnam’s budget transparency (OBI) score has increased sharply to 38/100 points, compared to 15/100 points in the 2017 OBI survey. A strong increase in the budget disclosure pillar contributed to helping Vietnam increased 14 places in the ranking of budget transparency, to 77 out of 117 countries. The results of the OBS 2019 survey showed that Vietnam’s ranking score has improved in all 3 pillars: transparency, participation and budget supervision. Progress in the OBI point has created an opportunity for Vietnam to join the Open Government Partnership.

According to Dr. Ngo Minh Huong, since participating in the public budget survey (OBS) in 2006, after 7 survey periods, Vietnam’s OBI index tends to increase and decrease slightly through the evaluation periods 2010-2017 and increase fast in the OBS 2019 survey.

With the application of the provisions of the State Budget Law 2015 (in effect since the 2017 budget year), the scope, audience, content and form of publicity were much wider than before.

Vietnam has published 7/8 key budget documents that need to be made public. In particular, the publication of data and explanatory reports on the state budget estimate when the Government submits it to the National Assembly and the State budget estimate is decided by the National Assembly, accompanied by a citizen budget report in easy-to-understand language, is a prerequisite for it is easier for people to grasp budget information, thereby increasing their interest and active participation in the budget development and monitoring process. (These 7 documents include: Budget development orientation; Budget draft; Budget estimate decided by the National Assembly; Citizen budget report; Quarterly budget report; Year-end budget report; Audit report).

The only remaining document that has not been recognized by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) is the mid-term report according to international practices because it has not provided quantitative information on the state budget forecast for the whole year, although this report has been reported to the Government by the Ministry of Finance and made public. This is a peculiarity of Vietnam because the National Assembly has a year-end session at the end of October, so when the Ministry of Finance evaluates the implementation of the state budget for the whole year, it is about 20 days later than the international standard (IBP stipulates that the mid-term report must be published before September 30 of the reporting year).

Ms. Dinh Thi Mai Anh, Head of Budget Management Department, Department of State Budget, Ministry of Finance shared many commitments of the Ministry in strengthening the guidance and supervision of localities and ministries/sectors to strictly implement in accordance with the Law on State Budget and efforts to propagate and attract people’s attention on the state of budget disclosure, especially in their localities, thereby performing well the role of checking, supervise the process of using state budget of branches and levels.

2. Ministry and Central Agency Open Budget Index (MOBI)

Also at this event, the Ministry and Central Agency Open Budget Index (MOBI) was announced. Accordingly, the level of budget disclosure of ministries and central agencies has improved compared to 2018, with the average score of 21.2 points, an increase of 10.2 points compared to MOBI 2018. 31/44 Ministries and central agencies had MOBI survey scores in 2019 (accounting for 70.45%), higher than the number of 17 ministries and central agencies in the MOBI 2018 survey period (45.59%).

In MOBI ranking 2019, the State Bank of Vietnam had the highest ranking with 73.17 points. This was the unit with the highest score in terms of completeness and convenience of 5 out of 6 publicized budget documents (State budget estimate in 2020, Report on implementation of the 1st quarter, 6-month, and 9-month inin 2019 and 2018 settlement). Vietnam Television ranked second with 49.56 points.

MOBI 2019 results reflected that a number of ministries and central agencies have not paid due attention to the public and transparent implementation of the budget, as specified in Circular 61/2017/TT-BTC and Circular 90/2018. /TT-BTC.

7 units only had a “Budget Public” folder but did not upload and update documents.

  • Of the 18 units that announced the State budget estimate for 2020, only 4 units announced the deadline as prescribed, which is within 15 days from December 31, 2019.
  • Of the 17 units that announced the 2018 State Budget Finalization, only 1 (Government Inspector) made it public on time.

The MOBI survey scores points according to the criteria of availability, timeliness, convenience and completeness with 6 mandatory budget documents published on the websites of the units. Sharing with the evaluation methods of CDI and VEPR, Ms. Dinh Thi Mai Anh expressed her confidence in the Ministry of Finance’s experience in conducting public transparency assessments in the budget sector, as well as CDI’s experience. scientific validity and accuracy of the survey results.

Commenting on the results, she added:

“The results of MOBI 2019 have increased a lot compared to 2018, which shows that central ministries and agencies have made a lot of efforts in publicity and transparency of the state budget. However, the average score of 21.2 points is too low, at the level of little disclosure. Note that MOBI scoring is different from OBI. MOBI is based on the provisions of the State Budget Law, so the regulations are quite clear, and in line with the conditions of the Ministries… The form of publicity on the website is a mandatory form according to the provisions of the Law”.

“CDI is an IBP partner that conducts the OBI survey. We believe in the science and accuracy of the results of this survey.”


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Ms. Dinh Thi Mai Anh spoke at the announcement ceremony.

In order to achieve the above results, the Government, the Ministry of Finance of Vietnam as well as other ministries and central agencies have made more efforts to publicize the budget transparency and are fully capable of improving the level of publicity and budget transparency. This partly shows the commitment to publicize information on the management and use of public resources so that people can participate in budget discussions with reforms in the law and institutions of budget administration towards a more transparent direction.

Below are the documents from the conference: