Thursday, October 3, 2013

Role of public expenditure tracking surveys vital for transparent economy

DHULIKHEL:  Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys (PETS) is a must to assure good governance.
Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys is a social accountability tool by which citizens track the amount of government’s budget allocated to activities implemented by the local bodies like VDCs, DDCs and municipalities, according to the participants of a workshop, organised here jointly by the World Bank’s Programme for Accountability in Nepal (PRAN) and the World Bank Institute.

“Through Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys, the community can learn how much of their budget is spent, or being spent, on specific activities, and what was actually achieved through the spent amount,” they explained. “In the current scenario with the absence of elected representatives throughout the country, we need a tool that would hold the administration accountable and PETs meets all the criteria.”
A three-day workshop ‘Following the Funds: Implementing Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys in Government Social Security Allowances,’ started on September 30 and concluded today provided a detailed, practical, hands-on training to over 50 social accountability practitioners – who implement the social accountability tools through various civil society organisations – from Dang, Kapilvastu, Gorkha, Palpa, Kalikot, Kailali Jajarkot, Bajura, Rolpa and Accham.

The workshop brought together national and international experts to share their experiences on implementing the Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys (PETS) methodology.
Through the use of PETS, people can find out whether the local government’s specific plans, programmes and resources have reached their intended targets, whether the money was spent for the approved purpose and, if not, what ways can be identified to ensure that the budget is spent as per the approved purposes.
“Our partners felt the need for such PETS training as most village communities lack proper knowledge on budget transparency and accountability issues,” PRAN’s coordinator Keith D Leslie said, on the occasion.
“We believe that citizens can more effectively hold their government accountable through such community-led, demand-driven tools as PETS,” she said, adding that through PRAN, we are able to provide practical training to develop the capacity of civil society in partnership with their government to promote social accountability in Nepal.”
Programme for Accountability in Nepal (PRAN) of the World Bank promotes the use of various social accountability tools allowing the citizens to hold the government and service providers accountable at the local level.

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