ECESR’s Budget and Transparency program sent a letter to the Minister of Finance for the Ministry and government failure to announce the plans and the statement of general budget for the New Year. Needless to say, this failure exposes the lack of transparency and prejudices the right of citizens to know how the public funds are spent.
ECESR urges the ministry and the Minister of Finance to publish the documents of the general budget and all required documents, which the state is obliged to publish in pursuance of its laws and international conventions.
To whom it may concern
The Minister of Finance Hani Qadri Demian
May 14, 2014
We would like to inform you that the state’s general budget for the fiscal year (2014/2015) has not been published for public discussion until now, despite the fact that the United Nations Convention against Corruption [Article 9], which Egypt has signed, the 2014 Constitution [Article 124], and the Law of General Budget 153/1973 [Article 16], as amended, require the Ministry of Finance to release the budget to public opinion during its discussion and approval in parliament.
Considering the circumstances that led to the absence of an elected parliament and therefore the failure to discuss and approve such a general budget in parliament, the executive branch had played all roles by writing and approving the general budget without involving citizens, the beneficiary and the injured party in the process.
Releasing the general budget to the public is essential so that the executive branch may not hold all cards of the game, which will lead to a new level of deterioration of Egypt in the “Open Budget Index” issued by the International Partnership for Budgets. Egypt’s level of deterioration had reached 13 % of the degree of budget transparency since 2012. This, of course, has serious impacts on the economic reputation of the country and the transparency of the Egyptian administration’s policies. One of these impacts is the reluctance of investors and various international financial institutions to support the Egyptian economy, which collapsed mainly as a result of the political circumstances in the country.
In order to save our homeland, and the rights of citizens, we ask you to post the state budget at least on the government’s websites to be available to the public in order to open a real societal discussion around it.
The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR)