Some participants in the online workshop launching the 2020 POBI report on June 3 (Photo: VNA)
– The 2020 Provincial Open Budget Index
(POBI) has the average score of 69.09 out of 100 points, up 3.54 points from
the previous year, with the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long topping the
Results of the 2020 POBI survey, conducted by the Budget
Transparency, Accountability and Participation (BTAP) Alliance,
the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR), and the Centre
for Development and Integration, were released via an online workshop on June
The survey showed that last year, 27 provincial-level
localities fully publicised documents and information about the State budget,
three localities more than 2019.
Meanwhile, those publishing relatively sufficient
information numbered 29, up two localities. The numbers of those with
insufficient or little information stood at five and two, respectively declining
four and one from 2019.
With 93.68 points, Vinh Long tops the 2020 rankings,
followed by central Da Nang city (92.26 points) and southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau
province (90.45 points). The worst performers are southern Binh Phuoc province
(3.84 points) and the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak (23.41 points).
Former VEPR Director Nguyen Duc Thanh, a representative of
the research group, said the POBI scores of localities were relatively low in the
first years the survey was carried out, with the national average of 30 points,
which meant almost no provinces and cities paid attention to budget
transparency as regulated in the 2015 Law on State Budget.
However, strong improvements have been seen in the following
years when they realised their positions in the rankings, he noted, adding the national
POBI average surged to 50 points in 2018 and 65 points in 2019, indicating that
localities have been aware of improving their budget transparency.
Though in 2020 - the fourth year of the POBI survey, the improvement
of the POBI scores tended to stagnate, many provinces that used to have very
low positions recorded considerable improvements while those with high scores
and “traditional” budget transparency maintained their stable performance,
according to Thanh.
The POBI survey helps localities and central agencies
measure the transparency level in the State budget management. It also assists
the country to have better financial and fiscal reforms, helping to achieve Goal
16 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals about transparency, accountability,
and people’s participation.
The 2020 survey was funded by Oxfam Vietnam and