2014 Activities

AMAN plans to transfer the experience of the Civil Team of the budget transparency to Gaza Strip

AMAN plans to transfer the experience of the Civil Team of the budget transparency to Gaza Strip

The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity – Aman seeks to transfer the experience of the Civil Team of the budget transparency in the West Bank to Gaza Strip in order to bridge the gap resulted from the absence of the citizen and the civil community institutions from planning the fiscal policy, determining the spending priorities and the absence of people’s accountability for the government about managing the budget and public money.

AMAN clarified that formation of a team from the civil community with an experience and knowledge in the aspect of preparing the budgets , the fiscal policies and the related legislations aims to enable the team to defend the rights and priorities of the citizens especially the marginalized and the low –income people, maximizing their voice to deliver it to the competent official authorities .Aman added that the formation of the civil team for budget transparency in Gaza Strip will include representatives of  six institutions partners to Aman in the Strip .

The duties of the team will focus on the collection of the relevant information, analyzing the information and organizing hearing and accountability sessions for the Minister of Finance in the Dismissed Government in Gaza and other officials if necessary, participating in raising the awareness of individuals and institutions of the importance of control over the public budgets and exchanging information and experience with the civil team in the West Bank.   It should be noted that this activity comes within the project (institutions of the civil community and the citizens: the influential force in increasing the accountability of the state institutions) funded by the European Union.

In a background paper related to the formation of the civil team for the public budget transparency, which was distributed on the representatives of the six institutions participating in the training course organized by Aman yesterday in Valansia hall in Gaza , Aman indicated to the importance of the public budget for the state to measure the level of the progress of the community and not just a tool or a frame to manage the relation between the resources available to the state and the growing needs of the community . Aman considered that transparency in essence means opening to the public with regard to the structure and the public sector jobs , the goals of the economic policy and the public sector accounts so as to enhance accountability.

   Aman added that if the public budget is the structure that all these operations are organized around , the transparency of all steps of preparing the budget is a vital entrance to enhance the transparency of the government policies and  the opportunities of community accountability for the government . The paper included explanation to the concept of public budget in terms of future revenue and expenses during a period of time usually a year, the mechanism of preparing the public budget, community accountability and the role of the civil community in controlling the public budget.

The paper pointed out the reality of the budget prepared by the Dismissed Government in Gaza which was fraught with secrecy so that no one is allowed to access  it  or discuss its items .Aman considered this as an indication to a real problem in the reality of integrity and transparency related to the budget and that the information  which has been disclosed concerning the budget cannot be used to prepare an analytical study or an accountability session about the public budget which may lead to practice the forms of corruption and weak of control over the preparation and implementation of the public budget .

AMAN criticized the apparent absence of the popular control on the budget because of the method of preparation of the project of the public budget .Aman also said that this operation is characterized by almost complete absence of the institutions of the civil community and local community which means the absence of community participation in preparing the budget and the absence of all forms of community control on its implementation .For his part, the economic expert Omar Sha'ban presented ,during the training course which lasted two days , a detailed explanation about the development that accompanied preparing the public budgets of the National Authority since 1994 to the budget of the Authority for this year and the change in the values of these budgets during these years .

He also pointed out to a number of criticisms for the mechanism followed by the Dismissed Government in preparing its budgets in recent years including the  budget of the government itself for the current year and the lack of clarity in aspects of revenue and deficit ratio and not referring to the expectations and solutions regarding ways to cover the deficit. Sha'ban considered that the budget doesn't mean just financial tables and it must include explanations for the government guidelines ,its priorities and the economic and fiscal policy which the values of income and expenses were based on , the economic and social goals through which the government intends to achieve fully or partially , the considerations and foundations that have ruled the spending priorities and their sizes emphasizing that control on transparency of the public budget and participation in preparing it are considered one of the main and most important tools to enable social accountability .

AMAN Sha'ban also pointed out the project of the public budget of the National Authority for the current year and in the words of the Minister of Finance Shukry Bishara in the conference of the financial and economic dialogue about reduction of indebtedness of the Authority from 4.8 billion dollars to 4.4 billion dollars .He also presented the contents of the report of the budget committee and financial affairs about the project of the public budget law for the fiscal year 2014.

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