The budgetary transparency of local government and self-government units is unsatisfactory, but is improving, especially in smaller units with lower budgetary revenues, according to a survey presented by the Public Financing Institute (IJF) on Tuesday.
The IFJ conducted the survey of budgetary transparency in counties, cities and municipalities between November 2015 and March 2016 in all 576 local government units which received ratings of between 0 (the lowest) and 5 (the highest), depending on the number of publicly released budgetary documents.
The average rating in this cycle was 2.35, which is significantly higher than last year's 1.75, yet still unsatisfactory, said one of the authors of the survey, Mihaela Bronic.
She said budgetary financing is most transparent in counties, with average rankings of 4.3, followed by cities (3.05), while municipalities are least transparent (2.04).
The ratings depend on the publication of five budgetary documents -- the annual budget execution for 2014, the six-month report for 2015, the draft budget and the adopted budget for 2016 and the 2016 budget for citizens.
Only eight municipalities, 25 towns and 11 counties published the requested budgetary documents in the said period.
On the other hand, nine towns and nearly one fifth of municipalities have not released a single document and one fifth of municipalities have released only one of the requested documents.
The IJF therefore recommends to the Finance Ministry to step up legal regulations and make the publication of those documents mandatory.
Finance Minister Zdravko Markic underlined the importance of a transparent and timely publication of information regarding all strategies, projections or decisions of local and state authorities.