Survey results are based on 228 questions that remain the same for each country. The survey is conducted by researchers typically based in the respective country. Almost all of the researchers come from civil society organizations (most of whom have a significant focus on budget issues) or academic institutions.
- Scored questions: 145 of the questions are scored and include 109 questions that assess the public availability of budget information, 18 questions that assess opportunities for the public to participate in the budget process, and 18 questions that assess the role of the legislature and the supreme audit institution.
- Unscored questions: the 83 unscored questions help to complete the OBS research by collecting background information on key budget documents and explore different characteristics of a country’s public finance management.
Each country’s completed draft questionnaire is also reviewed by an anonymous independent expert, as well as – in the great majority of cases – a representative of the country’s government.
the survey assesses the degree to which the executive, the legislature, and the supreme audit institution each provides opportunities for the public to engage during different cycles of the budget process.
the survey also examines the role that legislatures and supreme audit institutions play in the budget process and the extent to which they are able to provide robust oversight of the budget. Supplementary information on the existence and practice of independent fiscal institutions is also collected by the survey, but these questions are not scored.
Budget transparency score
(also known as the Open Budget Index): assesses the public availability of the eight key budget documents, that taken together provide a complete view of how public resources have been raised, planned, and spent during the budget year. To be considered “publicly available”, documents must be published online, in a time-frame consistent with good practices, and must include information that is comprehensive and useful. A score of 61 or above indicates a country is likely publishing enough material to support informed public debate on the budget.
OBS 2021 questionnaire and methodology