Local Government Units Improve Budget Transparency

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, July 4, 2019 – The budget transparency of all 576 local government units, expressed with the number of budget-related documents published on their websites, is 3.9 of the maximum number of 5, it was said at a conference on the budget transparency of counties, towns and municipalities in the period from November 2018 to March 2019, organised by the Institute of Public Finance (IJF) in Zagreb on Wednesday.

Budget transparency has improved in relation to the previous survey, when it stood at 3.52 budget documents, but there are still local government units that do not make any of their documents public, it was said.

Presenting the latest survey, Mihaela Bronić of the IJF said that the average number of budget-related documents published by county authorities this year was 4.9 while towns published an average 4.3 budget-related documents and municipalities 3.8 budget documents.

For the sake of comparison, the average number of budget-related documents published by counties in 2018 was also 4.9 while that of towns was 4 and of municipalities 3.3.

“It should be noted that despite positive trends, only counties comply fully with the law. Conversely, there are many towns and municipalities that do not published even those documents they are obliged to publish under the law,” Bronić said.

Last year, local government units spent 40 billion kuna.

Budget transparency was measured with the number of published key budget documents on local government units’ websites.

Transparent budgets enable citizens to obtain full, correct and timely information on local budgets, IJF director Katarina Ott said and called on citizens to participate in that activity as much as possible if they wanted taxpayers’ money to be spent prudently.

She expressed hope the relevant ministries would try to regulate and control local government units more adequately.

The State Secretary at the Public Administration Ministry, Darko Nekić, said that since the end of last year the ministry had been analysing data on how successful local government units were and that the process would last until December 2020.

After the analysis, a proposal will be made for a new territorial set-up or for changing the existing one, Nekić said.

More local government news can be found in the Politics section.


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