Budget

Winston rebuilding top priority in 2016-17 Budget

The top priorities for the Budget will be on intensifying the rebuilding efforts after Tropical Cyclone Winston and developing enduring climate-change mitigation measures. In a statement, the Attorney General and Minister of Finance said the 2016-17 Budget had been preceded by an unprecedented period of public consultations. Public meetings were held in Labasa and Lautoka […]

Staff Writers

June 22, 2016 11:24 am

The top priorities for the Budget will be on intensifying the rebuilding efforts after Tropical Cyclone Winston and developing enduring climate-change mitigation measures.

In a statement, the Attorney General and Minister of Finance said the 2016-17 Budget had been preceded by an unprecedented period of public consultations.

Public meetings were held in Labasa and Lautoka and were attended by NGOs, the business community, civil society and education institutions.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “We also, for the first time in Fiji’s history, have held specific and direct consultations with people living with disabilities and with high school students. We have been able to talk about budget processes and they have appreciated the balancing act Government must undertake to use financial resources appropriately. Through these consultations, disabled persons and high school students have had direct input on the inclusive budget consultations.”

The AG will deliver the 2016-17 Budget to the Parliament this evening at 7.30 pm.  It will be shown live on FBC TV and Fiji One and will be streamed live on the internet on the Parliament TV website.

For the first time, sign language will be used during the Minister’s speech to explain the Budget to hearing-impaired Fijians through FBC TV.

CCF calls on Government to maintain budget transparency

The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) is urging Government to improve budget transparency by releasing the eight key budget documents to the public.

Citizens’ Constitutional Forum's CEO Mr Bulutani Mataitawakilai. (CCF)
Citizens’ Constitutional Forum’s CEO Mr Bulutani Mataitawakilai. (CCF)

The call comes after the release of Fiji’s 2015 score at the International Budget Partnerships (IBP) Open Budget Survey (OBS).

The IBP set out international standards which mandated the availability of these key budget documents for efficient and accountable budget systems which include principles of budget transparency, citizen participation, and independent oversight institutions.

The eight key budget documents are:

  1. The Enacted Budget
  2. Audit Report
  3. In-Year Report
  4. Pre-Budget Statement
  5. Mid-Year Review
  6. Executive’s Budget Proposal
  7. Year-End Report
  8. and the Citizens Budget

In the 2015 IBP OBS ranking Fiji scored 15/100 based on data collected up to June 2014. This was an improvement from Fiji’s 6/100 score in the 2012 ranking.

In a statement CCF Chief Executive Officer Mr Bulutani Mataitawakilai said despite a change to the financial year the Government managed to conduct some public consultations on the budget by reaching out to students and disability groups.

MATAITAWAKILAI: “CCF welcomes this inclusive approach to public consultations by the Government and wishes to see more time and resources allocated for wider consultations.”

The CEO stated that the budgets are an essential policy instrument of government through which they can deliver their promises to the people.

He also said that although improvements have been made in the survey on budget ranking, more work needs to be done regarding enhancing citizens’ engagement in the budget process.

MATAITAWAKILAI: “CCF congratulates the Government on the 2016-2017 National Budget address by calling on them to prioritize the rehabilitation of the country in the aftermath of TC Winston and strengthen the developmental, constitutional and human rights framework.”

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