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Tanzania Should strive for greater budget transparency and participation

Tanzania Should strive for greater budget transparency and participation

In a move towards enhancing government accountability, Tanzania has shown progress in budget transparency, as revealed by the latest Open Budget Survey (OBS) 2023. The survey by the International Budget Partnership, recognized globally as the only comparative, and fact-based instrument to assess public access to central government budget information, highlights Tanzania's improvements and areas that need more work.

Tanzania's transparency score has notably increased to 41 out of 100, substantially from the 21 points it garnered in 2021. This progress positions Tanzania at the 75th spot among the 125 countries surveyed. Despite this improvement, the score indicates that more effort is needed to reach the 'sufficient' transparency level, set at 61.

The OBS evaluates various dimensions of budgetary processes, including public access to key budget documents, public participation, and the role of oversight institutions such as the legislature and national audit offices. In Tanzania, while key documents like the Executive's Budget Proposal and the Citizens Budget are available to the public, other critical documents such as the Mid-Year Review and Year-End Report are either not produced or not published on time.

Public participation in the budget process remains a challenge for the country, scoring only 13 out of 100. This score underscores the limited opportunities for the public to engage in budget formulation, approval, and auditing processes. Recommendations to enhance public participation include piloting mechanisms for public involvement in budget implementation and expanding engagement channels for civil society organizations and vulnerable communities.

Budget oversight in Tanzania also reflects room for improvement, with a composite score of 43 out of 100. The National Assembly provides limited oversight during the budget planning stage and weak oversight during implementation. Strengthening legislative committees' roles and ensuring the legislature's involvement in mid-year budget adjustments are among the recommended actions to bolster oversight.

For more detailed information and the full OBS 2023 report, visit [Open Budget Survey](