This document is the summary for a 36 country-wide study evaluating public access to budget information from the perspective of civil society organisations. The International Budget Project (IBP) developed an open budget questionnaire as a measurement tool that was then completed by civil society researchers in different countries in 2004. The main results include that documents relating to the executive's budget proposed expenditure are routinely released to the public and typically contain significant amounts of information; fewer countries report positive practices in reports that monitor the budget while it is being implemented and/or completed; and very few of the countries surveyed had efforts to facilitate public discourse and understanding of the budget. Likewise, the study found that official avenues for legislative and public input into the budget process tend to be lacking. The study goes on to identify a number of concrete steps that countries can take to improve their budget systems, such as encouraging public and legislative involvement, as well as providing non-technical summaries of the budget to make it accessible to a wider audience. Overall, the information in the report aims to contribute to ongoing efforts to enhance budget transparency and help countries assess and improve their budget systems.
The International Budget Project