Seventy-seven of 100 countries assessed fail to meet basic standards of transparency and accountability when it comes to their national budgets, according to the Open Budget Index survey that measures the public availability of and amount of information in the documents.
The country of New Zealand scored only moderately well in a new section of the 2012 OBS dealing with public engagement in the budget process.
One important area of weakness in NZ is the absence of public debate and independent scrutiny of the Pre-Budget Statement. The Open Budget Index assigns countries covered by the Survey a transparency score on a 100-point scale using 95 questions from the 125 questions on the Survey.
These questions focus on whether the government provides the public with timely access to comprehensive information contained in eight key budget documents.