13. Establishing clear roles and responsibilities for government and the rest of the public sector is a key aspect of fiscal transparency, because it provides a basis on which accountability for the design and implementation of fiscal policy can be assigned. Principles and practices in this regard concern the scope of government and the framework for fiscal management.
1. Fiscal transparency refers to the information available to the public about the government’s fiscal policy-making process. It refers to the clarity, reliability, frequency, timeliness, and relevance of public fiscal reporting and the openness of such information.
57. Making fiscal information available to the public is a defining characteristic of fiscal transparency.49 Principles and practices in this regard concern the provision of comprehensive information on fiscal activity and to obligations regarding publication.
95. Since the annual budget is almost without exception the main instrument of fiscal policy, the budget process and the information contained in and presented with the budget are central to fiscal transparency. Budget preparation and execution should be open in the sense that information is readily available on how budgets are prepared and executed (for instance, budget circulars and information on the budget process should be available to the public). The Code does not specifically advocate participation of civil society in budget processes, though such approaches are not excluded. Nor does openness imply full disclosure to the public at all stages of the budget process. Transparency in this context is necessarily limited by considerations of market sensitivity, due process in policy formulation, and the costs of providing information to the public relative to the expected benefits.