Civic society tells us that the Executive’s budget information is complex and that departmental budget information is produced at different times during the reporting cycle. Consequently, it can be difficult for citizens to understand the Executive’s spending plans and to hold departments to account for spending decisions. Government can create conditions that enable citizens to participate in a meaningful way. A very important one of these conditions is that citizens have ready access to government information. This involves providing information in a language and format that ordinary people can understand and use. This idea is as true of government budgets as of any other of the government’s policy and planning documents. Government is accountable to the people for how it spends their money. Making the budgets it develops publicly available is one way to provide an account. Another is through publishing financial reports that explain how the money has been spent.
If the Government makes information available through the creation of a Citizens Budget and the content of the Citizens Budget is appropriate and the presentation accessible, it can be an invaluable tool in helping to initiate and sustain a dialogue between government and citizens.
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This content is created by the open source Your Priorities citizen engagement platform designed by the non profit Citizens Foundation