Bangladesh

Which countries lead in budget accountability? Which ones need improvement? Explore our data and recommendations for each of the 120 countries assessed.

 

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Open Budget Survey Results

Public Participation

13

Budget Oversight

39

Transparency

30

Open Budget Survey 2021

Government budget decisions – what taxes to levy, what services to provide, and how much debt to take on – have important consequences for all people in society. When governments provide information and meaningful channels for the public to engage in these decisions, we can better ensure public money is spent on public interests.

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The Open Budget Survey (OBS) is the world’s only independent, comparative and fact-based research instrument that uses internationally accepted criteria to assess public access to central government budget information; formal opportunities for the public to participate in the national budget process; and the role of budget oversight institutions, such as legislatures and national audit offices, in the budget process.

The survey helps local civil society assess and confer with their government on the reporting and use of public funds. This 8th edition of the OBS covers 120 countries.

Summary
Country Specific Assessments
Country summary EN
pdf, 314.14 KB
Questionnaire EN
pdf, 872.29 KB
30 /100

This part of the OBS measures public access to information on how the central government raises and spends public resources. It assesses the online availability, timeliness, and comprehensiveness of eight key budget documents using 109 equally weighted indicators and scores each country on a scale of 0 to 100. A transparency score of 61 or above indicates a country is likely publishing enough material to support informed public debate on the budget.

Transparency in Bangladesh compared to others

Global Average
45
Pakistan
46
Afghanistan
43
Nepal
39
India
37
Sri Lanka
30
Bangladesh
30
0
Insufficient
61
Sufficient
100

Bangladesh’s ranking: 95 of 120 countries

0
100

How has the transparency score for Bangladesh changed over time?

48
2010
58
2012
56
2015
41
2017
36
2019
30
2021
0
Insufficient
61
Sufficient
100

Public availability of budget documents in Bangladesh

Key
Available to the Public
Published Late, or Not Published Online, or Produced for Internal Use Only
Not Produced
Scroll
Document 2010 2012 2015 2017 2019 2021
Pre-Budget Statement
Executive’s Budget Proposal
Enacted Budget
Citizens Budget
In-Year Reports
Mid-Year Review
Year-End Report
Audit Report

How comprehensive is the content of the key budget documents that Bangladesh makes available to the public?

Key
61-100 / 100
41-60 / 100
1-40 / 100
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Key budget document Document purpose and contents Fiscal year assessed Document content score
Pre-Budget Statement Discloses the broad parameters of fiscal policies in advance of the Executive's Budget Proposal; outlines the government's economic forecast, anticipated revenue, expenditures, and debt. 2020-21 Internal Use
Executive’s Budget Proposal Submitted by the executive to the legislature for approval; details the sources of revenue, the allocations to ministries, proposed policy changes, and other information important for understanding the country's fiscal situation. 2020-21 56
Enacted Budget The budget that has been approved by the legislature. 2020-21 17
Citizens Budget A simpler and less technical version of the government's Executive’s Budget Proposal or the Enacted Budget, designed to convey key information to the public. 2020-21 25
In-Year Reports Include information on actual revenues collected, actual expenditures made, and debt incurred at different intervals; issued quarterly or monthly. 2019-20 Published Late
Mid-Year Review A comprehensive update on the implementation of the budget as of the middle of the fiscal year; includes a review of economic assumptions and an updated forecast of budget outcomes. 2019-20 Not Produced
Year-End Report Describes the situation of the government's accounts at the end of the fiscal year and, ideally, an evaluation of the progress made toward achieving the budget's policy goals. 2018-19 Internal Use
Audit Report Issued by the supreme audit institution, this document examines the soundness and completeness of the government's year-end accounts. 2018-19 Not Produced

Bangladesh’s transparency score of 30 in the OBS 2021 is moderately lower than its score in 2019.

What changed in OBS 2021?

Bangladesh has decreased the availability of budget information by:

Reducing the information provided in the Executive's Budget Proposal by not publishing the contents of the Medium Term Budgetary Framework (MTBF) for FY 2020-21. At the time of research, the MTBF (Bangla) was published late - after the budget was approved. The MTBF (English) was not published. Subsequently, the MTBF for FY 2021-22 was published on time.

Recommendations

Bangladesh should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:

Publish the Pre-Budget Statement, In-Year Reports and Year-End Report online in a timely manner. In-Year Reports should be produced and published online within three months after the end of the reporting period, and the Year-End Report should be published within one year of the end of the reporting period. At the time if research, only the Year-End Report for FY 2014-15 was published on MoF's website.
Produce and publish the Mid-Year Review online in a timely manner. For a half year quarterly report to qualify as Mid-Year Review, it should include macroeconomic and fiscal forecasts for the remainder of the year, as well as revised and updated estimates for revenues and expenditures.
Include in the Executive's Budget Proposal data on the financial position of the government and data on the macroeconomic forecast. Ensure that the files associated with the Medium Term Budgetary Framework (MTBF) are always uploaded in a timely manner.
Improve the comprehensiveness of the Enacted Budget by publishing details on expenditures and revenues.
Produce and publish the Audit Report within 18 months of the reporting period. Supreme Audit Institutions can achieve this by trying to close the gap between the completion of fiscal year, and the audit of the financial accounts for that fiscal year.
13 /100

The OBS assesses the formal opportunities offered to the public for meaningful participation in the different stages of the budget process. It examines the practices of the central government’s executive, the legislature, and the supreme audit institution (SAI) using 18 equally weighted indicators, aligned with the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency’s Principles of Public Participation in Fiscal Policies , and scores each country on a scale from 0 to 100.

Bangladesh has a public participation score of 13 (out of 100).

Public participation in Bangladesh compared to others

Global Average
14
Nepal
24
Sri Lanka
19
Bangladesh
13
Afghanistan
13
India
9
Pakistan
9
0
Insufficient
61
Sufficient
100

For more information, see here  for innovative public participation practices around the world.

Extent of opportunities for public participation in the budget process

20
/100
Formulation
(executive)
22
/100
Approval
(legislature)
0
/100
Implementation
(executive)
0
/100
Audit
(supreme audit institution)
Key
0-40: Few
41-60: Limited
61-100: Adequate

Recommendations

Bangladesh's Ministry of Finance has established pre-budget deliberations during budget formulation but, to further strengthen public participation in the budget process, should also prioritize the following actions:

Pilot mechanisms to monitor budget implementation.
Ensure that participants of pre-budget deliberations have sufficient prior information to participate meaningfully, and that inputs are considered during budget formulation.
Actively engage with vulnerable and underrepresented communities, directly or through civil society organizations representing them.

Bangladesh's National Parliament (Jatiya Sangsad) has established public hearings related to the approval of the annual budget, but should also prioritize the following actions:

Allow any member of the public or any civil society organization to testify during the hearings of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the budget proposal prior to its approval.
Allow members of the public or civil society organizations to testify during hearings on the Audit Report.

Bangladesh's Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General should prioritize the following actions to improve public participation in the budget process:

Establish formal mechanisms for the public to assist in developing its audit program and to contribute to relevant audit investigations.
39 /100

The OBS examines the role that legislatures and supreme audit institutions (SAIs) play in the budget process and the extent to which they provide oversight; each country is scored on a scale from 0 to 100 based on 18 equally weighted indicators. In addition, the survey collects supplementary information on independent fiscal institutions (see Box).

The legislature and supreme audit institution in Bangladesh, together, provide weak oversight during the budget process, with a composite oversight score of 39 (out of 100). Taken individually, the extent of each institution’s oversight is shown below:

Legislative oversight

0
36
100
weak

Audit oversight

0
45
100
limited
Key
0-40: Few
41-60: Limited
61-100: Adequate

Recommendations

Bangladesh's National Parliament (Jatiya Sangsad) provides limited oversight during the planning stage of the budget cycle and weak oversight during the implementation stage. To improve oversight, the following actions should be prioritized:

The Executive’s Budget Proposal should be submitted to legislators at least two months before the start of the budget year.
Legislative committees should examine the Executive’s Budget Proposal and publish reports with their analysis online.
A legislative committee should examine in-year budget implementation and publish reports with their findings online.
In practice, ensure the legislature is consulted before the executive shifts funds specified in the Enacted Budget between administrative units; spends any unanticipated revenue; or reduces spending due to revenue shortfalls during the budget year.
A legislative committee should examine the Audit Report and publish a report with their findings online.

To strengthen independence and improve audit oversight by the Bangladesh Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General, the following actions are recommended:

Require legislative or judicial approval to appoint the head of the supreme audit institution.
Ensure audit processes are reviewed by an independent agency.

The emerging practice of establishing independent fiscal institutions

Bangladesh does not have an independent fiscal institution (IFI). IFIs are increasingly recognized as valuable independent and nonpartisan information providers to the Executive and/or Parliament during the budget process.

*These indicators are *not* scored in the Open Budget Survey.

Methodology

  • Only documents published and events, activities, or developments that took place through 31 December 2020 were assessed in the OBS 2021.
     
  • The survey is based on a questionnaire completed in each country by an independent budget expert:
    Dr. Mohamad Eusuf, Professor and Former Chairman, Department of Development Studies & Director, Centre on Budget and Policy, University of Dhaka
    Research and Policy Integration for Development (RAPID)

    [email protected]; [email protected]
  • To further strengthen the research, each country’s draft questionnaire is also reviewed by an anonymous independent expert.
Past reports
Years
Language
Country summary EN
PDF, en
Questionnaire EN
PDF, en
Country summary EN
PDF, EN
Questionnaire EN
PDF, EN
Country summary EN
PDF, EN
Questionnaire EN
PDF, EN
Country summary EN
PDF, EN
Questionnaire EN
PDF, EN
Country summary EN
PDF, EN
Questionnaire EN
PDF, EN
Country summary EN
PDF, EN
Questionnaire EN
PDF, EN
Country summary EN
PDF, EN
Questionnaire EN
PDF, EN