As part of effort to help promote budget transparency and accountability in Ghana, SEND-GHANA has organized a day workshop for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to enable them have access? to accurate and current information.
The workshop which was funded by International Budget Partnership (IBP), took place in Accra, was aimed at creating the necessary awareness for ensuring public access to budget information in order to further enhance transparency and accountability. It was under theme: “Promoting Budget Transparency and Accountability in Ghana through Partnership with CSOs”
More so, it was also aimed at providing a forum that will enhance the role of citizens, Legislature and the audit service to hold government accountable.
And also identify the possible strategies which civil society organizations and senior government officials may adopt in order to promote more constructive and transparent dialogue.
In his opening remarks, the Country Director of SEND-GHANA Mr. George Osei- Bimpeh, noted that over the past years, pubic debates have increased around fiscal responsibility, financial management and transparency of budget process in the country.
” At the global level, there discussion around the need to adopt budget transparency and accountability in the Sustainable Development Goals. At the national level, Ghana’s performance in the Open Budget(OBS) Tracker, a tool used to monitor the public availability of key budget documents and its timely release as per international standards, has ignited debates for greater budget transparency and accountability in Ghana”
This he said, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) can play a crucial role in enhancing budget transparency and good governance. By contributing to the increased public date on issues surrounding the formulation and execution of government budgets as well as in supporting greater transparency in the management of public revenues.
“More effective participation of Civil groups in public discussions on fiscal transparency will require strengthening the capacity of these organizations to participate in debates” According to him, a strong Civil society requires access to information, ability to gather and use the evidence to inform its policy proposals and their overall engagement with government.
Adding that, the most fundamental pre-requisites of democratic and accountable governance is access to accurate and current data.
He said, to in order to realize the full potential of national budget accountability, Ghana needs a vibrant constituency of the masses and the institutions who are capable to understand and utilize budget data to influence appropriate policy change.
This constituency could close the advocacy gap to ensure that the budget process is managed in accordance with international best practices.
Story by Isaac Kofi Dzokpo