Transparency in Public Finance

March 25, 2015


Photo: Jonathan Ernst/World Bank

Availability of reliable, relevant and timely information about the institutional arrangements for public finance allows for the assessment of a government’s financial position and the true cost and benefit of government activities. Transparency is a means to strengthening governance. We aim to achieve improvements in accountability and government performance by combining transparency with participation, so that stakeholders can contribute ideas and information to the public sector, and collaboration, through partnerships between the public sector and stakeholders in decision-making and implementing public policy.

The GIFT Initiative is a multi-stakeholder action network working to advance and institutionalize global norms and significant, continuous improvements on fiscal transparency, participation, and accountability in countries around the world. GIFT engages a wide array of stakeholders from across sectors who are committed to a robust local, national, and international action agenda around our core value proposition through four streams of work. The Lead Stewards of GIFT are the Brazil Ministry of Planning, Budget and ManagementDepartment of Budget & Management PhilippinesWorld Bank, International Monetary Fund, the International Federation of Accountants, and International Budget Partnership, where the Initiative is currently hosted; Juan Pablo Guerrero is the Network Director of GIFT.

Contact for more information on GIFT and the streams of work. For an overview of the multi-stakeholder action network approach of GIFT and a complete list of stakeholders, see the one page GIFT overview.

The World bank advocates fiscal transparency in countries, which includes transparency of budget processes. Countries that have not published their budget within the last twelve months will not be eligible for financing from development policy operations of the WBG.

Module on Fiscal Transparency [PDF 96 K]

Module on Performance budgeting [PDF 86K]

Peterson Institute Speech by Robert Zoellick

The World Bank assists countries in achieving the international tax transparency standards of the Global Forum to ensure the transparency and integrity of their tax systems.

helps to enhance the transparency and efficiency of public spending by improving access to government expenditure data and linking spending to relevant results.

Global Forum of Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.
The Global Forum is the continuation of a forum which was created in the early 2000s in the context of the OECD’s work to address the risks to tax compliance posed by tax havens. The original members of the Global Forum consisted of OECD countries and jurisdictions that had agreed to implement transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.

Our Fiscal Transparency expert is Jonas Frank