Transparent management of public finances is a key element of good governance, even more so during the Covid-19 pandemic, when governments around the world face decreasing revenue and increasing expenditure. Extraordinary circumstances in which decisions are often made overnight cannot be an excuse for lack of transparency. Such decisions may affect the effectiveness of public spending and public services provision, fairness in the distribution of public funds and political dynamics, not to mention the wellbeing of citizens, especially of vulnerable and excluded groups.
The underlying assumption in the literature is that transparency fosters accountability. But through which channels this happens and how fiscal and budget transparency improve the quality of governance are still poorly understood. The literature has developed a long list of arguments in favour of transparency and public participation in the budgetary process, but these arguments are rarely backed up by rigorous evidence.
Keynote speeches on current state and trends in fiscal openness and sessions on various fiscal openness aspects like:
- fiscal and budget transparency
- participatory budgeting and budget literacy
- government accountability in fiscal and budget processes
- national and subnational approaches
- benefits, costs and risk of fiscal openness
- role of international organizations and movements
- role of technology
- best practices and how to transfer them
- relevance of the country-specific circumstances for fiscal openness
- fiscal openness and human development
- green and gender budgeting and fiscal openness.