Lack of openness in govt agencies a concern for assessing budget promises: Verité Research

Independent research institute and think tank in Sri Lanka, Verité Research highlights that the level of openness of government agencies is a major concern in evaluating their performance against budget promises.

Presenting an overview of selected cabinet decisions taken in 2020, Research Assistant Udahiruni Atapattu described the lack of willingness of ministries and other government agencies to disclose information.

“Over 50% of the cabinet decisions we evaluated fell into the closed and restricted categories. This means that either the ministry did not provide any or sufficient information to make us a progress assessment,” she said.

“So we have poor visibility over more than a half of cabinet decisions we assessed. The proportion of these restricted proposals have doubled in 2020 when compared to 2019.”

According to Verité Research, 67% of the expenditure related cabinet decisions and proposals went undisclosed.

“If you compare that with our historical performance, this is a massive increase from last time where only 41% went undisclosed,” she stressed.

“The proportion of fulfilled proposals reduced drastically from 32% to 4%. Fulfilled proposals are the proposals that achieved 80% or more of the target they have for the year.”