12 Nov 2012

Researchers say Fiji government makes token effort at budget openess

4:07 pm on 12 November 2012

Researchers say Fiji's interim government has made only a token effort this year at allowing public scrutiny of its budget documents.

Fiji has been taking part in the two yearly international Open Budget Survey which this year has measured about one hundred governments for transparency and accountability.

Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Fiji are the only Pacific countries taking part in the survey which looks at public access to eight key budget documents.

Albert Cerelala of the Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific says Fiji's transparency score is poor and only a slight rise is expected as the administration is not publishing documents consistently and in a timely way.

"It's not an issue of capacity. It really is to do with the political will of the Ministry and the government to say look we're accountable, we can do this easily, there's nothing to hide, in how we use and expend our public funds."

Albert Cerelala says the interim government wants to improve its ranking and has indicated it will publish quarterly and mid year reports.