22 April 2009

Another big win for transparency and good governance

The GoSS Ministry of Legal Affairs has established a website with copies of all the laws passed by the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly. Fantastic, now I don't have to just read about them in the Tribune.

Now if only the Ministry of Finance could get one so people could find the damn budget themselves.

In other data (non)news - why is so hard to get comparative data on basic aspects of African governments and their budgets? Is there not some repository somewhere of staffing levels and spending levels on different sectors


Matt C said...

It's because African government's often don't use the same classifications systems. They'll have different names, and different permutations of sectors.

Donors will often get around this by just re-classifying certain expenditures as they see fit ("this project sounds like its agricultural"), but if you started aggregating data that way, it would be full of error.

The IMF has tried to get many budget departments to adopt the GFS standard, which would be comparable across countries. However, it's not entirely obvious it's in the best interest of a government to uproot its current system just so foreigners can do comparative studies.

Lee said...

I realise that there are those difficulties but don't you think that imperfect aggregations would be better than nothing? And comparative studies could potentially establish some international best practice and help strengthen the hand of domestic reformers.

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