According to the International Budget Partnership (IBP), whose partner in Portugal is the Institute of Public Policy, the transparency of the Portuguese budget process deserved 66 points out of 100 in 2019, above threshold of 61 which “indicates that a country is likely to publish enough material to support an informed public debate”.
Thus, Portugal is ranked 23rd in a list led by New Zealand, which on the 'podium' of transparency has the 'company' of South Africa (2nd) and Sweden (3rd).
Compared to 2017, the 2019 result remains at 66 points, up from 64 in 2015, 62 in 2012 and 58 in 2010.
The IBP notes that Portugal does not publish a mid-year budget review, “a comprehensive update on mid-year budget implementation”, including “a review of economic assumptions and an updated forecast of budget results”.
The organization also considers that a 'Citizens Budget' is “published late”, which consists of a “simpler and less technical version of the proposal or of the Budget approved by the Government, designed to disseminate key information to the public”.
Thus, IBP recommends the publication “of the 'Citizens Budget' in a timely manner” and the “online production and publication of the half year review in a timely manner”.
In terms of public participation in the budget process, Portugal reaches 26 points, just like Canada, below the institute's sufficiency threshold, 61 points, a number that the United Kingdom reaches in this 'chapter'.
Still, Portugal is ahead of Norway (22 points), United States (22), Sweden (19), France (18), Germany (15), Italy (11) and Spain (02).
Within the 26 points of public participation, Portugal obtains 27 in the formulation of the budget, 55 in the approval, zero in the implementation and 33 in the audit.
The IBP recommends to the Portuguese Ministry of Finance to widen the scope of the Participatory Budget, in order to “ensure that it reaches more citizens”, pilot mechanisms to monitor the implementation of the Budget, and active engagement “with vulnerable and underrepresented communities, directly or through civil society organizations that represent them “.
To the Assembly of the Republic, the entity that organizes the global survey recommends that “let any member of the public or any civil society organization testify during the hearings to the Budget proposal before its approval”, extending the same project to the execution audit process .
IBP also requires the Court of Auditors to “establish formal mechanisms for the public to be able to assist in the development of its audit work”.
In terms of supervision of the budget process, Portugal obtained a score of 72 points, with 69 referring to legislative control mechanisms and 78 to the audit process.
Thus, it is recommended to the Assembly of the Republic that “a legislative committee should examine the implementation of the budget during the year and publish reports with its conclusions 'online', which ensures” that parliament is consulted before the executive reduces spending due to outages. in revenue “, and also the examination, by a parliamentary committee, of the audit report, publishing its results 'online'.
The Court of Auditors must “ensure that the audit processes are reviewed by an independent agency”.