The Analytical Center held a workshop meeting on “Budget for citizens: ensuring budget openness and transparency within the Russian budgetary system” brought together the heads of analytical services within the offices of legislative (governmental) and executive public authorities of the subjects of the Russian Federation.
Russian President’s budget address orders that “Budget for citizens” was regularly published. In 2013 such budget was developed in 46 subjects of the Russian Federation and is currently under development in 14 more. “There are many opinions as to how can the budget be made comprehensible for citizens, and numerous attempts have been made to achieve that. However, as time went by, it became clear that given the heterogeneous nature of the target audience, there can’t be a solely correct approach” said the First Deputy Director of the Analytical Center Vladislav Onischenko at his opening speech at the workshop meeting.
Nevertheless, thanks to the work carried out in this area by the Russian Ministry of Finance and the best regional practices, it was possible to find key approaches to a comprehensive budget forming and to identify focus areas for future development and aiming at creating an optimal “Budget for citizens”. Spreading the best practices onto the regional and local levels will help make financial activities of public authorities comprehensible as well as expand the involvement of civil society in public finance management.
In his report on “Experience and key development areas of Budget for citizens on federal and regional levels” Deputy Director of the Department for Budget Policy of the Russian Ministry of Finance Andrey Blokhin pointed out that Russia has considerably improved its transparency and comprehensibility indicators of budget policy – from 60 points in 2010 to 74 in 2012 (these indicators are annually calculated by the International Budget Partnership according to the budget openness index. “Our country ranked 10th out of 100 countries and we are expecting to have reached 85 points by 2020,” the expert remarked.