Among other things the timing of budgets was changed, procedural requirements bypassed, parliaments not consulted, and information not released.
In a new study comparing 120 countries, Australia was found to be one of only four countries — along with Norway, Peru and the Philippines — whose processes were assessed as having “adequate” accountability.
The International Budget Partnership study found that almost three-quarters of the countries studied (87 out of 120) failed to manage their immediate financial response in a transparent and accountable manner.
Almost two-thirds failed to provide transparency in procurement, half bypassed their parliaments, and only a quarter published expedited audit reports.
No countries were judged as having had “substantive” accountability.
Australia’s accountability practices included delivering an Economic and Fiscal Update in place of its postponed May budget and establishing an opposition-chaired Senate select committee to monitor its responses to the pandemic.
- ^ US$14 trillion (blogs.imf.org)
- ^ four countries (internationalbudget.org)
- ^ International Budget Partnership (www.internationalbudget.org)
- ^ Economic and Fiscal Update (archive.budget.gov.au)
- ^ Senate select committee (www.aph.gov.au)
- ^ virtually (www.aph.gov.au)
- ^ difficulties (www.aph.gov.au)
- ^ cut (pmc.gov.au)
- ^ disproportionately affected (www.wgea.gov.au)
- ^ Women's Budget Statement more of a first step than revolution (theconversation.com)
- ^ Commonwealth Treasury (budget.gov.au)
- ^ A$61.5 million (www.pmc.gov.au)
- ^ women’s budget statement (budget.gov.au)
Authors: Miranda Stewart, Professor, The University of Melbourne