Egypt ranked first in the Middle East in the Open Budget for Public Financial Data, which was published on the Global Barometer Data Scale — a new platform that includes a number of regional institutions and objective partners who seek to assess the availability of data, governance, and capacity.
The scale has consolidated databases on these topics from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Global Initiative for Financial Transparency (GIFT), and the International Budget Partnership (IBP) in cooperation with the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait confirmed in a statement on Monday that Egypt succeeded in winning first place in the Middle East in the Barometer index, adding that the index helps decision-makers reduce risks resulting from global challenges, explaining that both the Global Barometer index and the Budget Transparency indicator are independent and specialised in budget transparency.
He pointed out that both the Global Barometer and the Budget Transparency indexes benefit major research centres and credit rating agencies and are strong indicators that reflect the degree of safe investments in a country, as well as the role of each of them in disclosing the state’s financial and tax policies.
These indexes also help investors to develop their future plans, facilitate access to the financial policies of the Egyptian economy, and stimulate the investment climate, as transparency is linked to low rates of corruption and has a direct relationship with the improvement of economic and social development indicators, the improvement of economic competitiveness, and is one of the tools to enhance the efficiency of the implementation of financial policies as well.
For his part, Deputy Minister of Finance Ahmed Kochouk stressed that Egypt has achieved great success by occupying first place in the Middle East in the open balance of public financial data according to the Global Barometer, and that it is not easy for any country to rise to this position because the Global Barometer index measures the state of data in relation to pressing societal issues in 109 countries based on more than 100 country-level researchers responsible for providing evidence of governance, capacity, availability, and use of data for the public good across a variety of different economic sectors with fiscal policy objectives and everything new regarding tax administration and the budget every year.
Sarah Eid — Head of the Transparency and Community Participation Unit at the Ministry of Finance — pointed out that the Global Barometer publishes open data on many pressing issues of social dimension, especially in times of crises and their accompanying repercussions, such as the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian War and its associated impacts on the country.
She added that Egypt’s rise to the first place according to this indicator is the culmination of eight years of effort that reflect the country’s success in managing data for the public good through fruitful cooperation between many different sectors within the Ministry of Finance, especially the Programme and Performance Budget Unit, the Public Finance Department, GFIMS, and the Transparency and Community Participation Unit, all of which played a large and effective role in disseminating the data required in a timely manner due to their awareness of the importance of such indicators and data for decision-makers and citizens, and to facilitate the process of measuring the efficiency of public spending in the country with the aim of continuously improving the efficiency of public finance performance.
Furthermore, Eid said that one of the main objectives of the Barometer indicator is to make data available to the public and those concerned with the core decision-makers in the country that help improve public spending on thorny issues, noting that the Ministry of Finance’s plan in the future is to ensure fruitful cooperation with many relevant ministries with the aim of improving Egypt’s indexes in other sectors.