ORG unveils fiscal transparency portal
The Organization for Responsible Governance (ORG) yesterday unveiled a portal for fiscal transparency it has developed to get citizens involved in the government’s budgetary process and familiar with the language that typically makes up a government’s budget.
The government has made moves to simplify its budget for the average citizen with the introduction of “The People’s Budget”, which contains colorful graphs, charts and infographics that try to make fiscal data more palatable.
However, project manager for the fiscal fiscal transparency portal, Chauntez Dillet-Wilson, said ORG, which hosted a “builders lunch” yesterday to launch the portal idea, not only wants citizens to be able to read the government’s budget documents and understand them, but wants them to participate in the budget process through the use of the portal.
Dillet-Wilson said in the past there has been “mutual distrust” between the government and citizens as budget figures are presented and politicians wax academic over expenditure and revenue trends.
“Fiscal transparency has improved tremendously,” she said.
“We saw it as being impeded by insufficient fiscal literacy in the majority of the Bahamian population, and the accessibility and frequency of the existing material.
“We feel as if a greater flow of data, more frequent publications, and touch points and something that broke things down even more are needed.”
ORG Chairman Robert Myers said in order for the portal project to be successful, there needs to be partnership, trust and collaboration between the government, civil society and the private sector.
The U.S. Embassy has aided ORG in developing the fiscal transparency portal, and ORG has recruited the services of Blue Orchid Advertising and Travis Miller Web to develop the portal and its content.
Myers said with participation from the public through the portal, this country will be able to build greater consumer, business and investor confidence.
“It is from this market confidence that we will see greater gross domestic product growth and economic sustainability,” he said.
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