The Open Budget Portal (https://ckns.mof.gov.vn/) officially went live after the Minister of Finance Đinh Tiến Dũng, Swiss Embassy’s Ambassador Ivo Sieber, the World Bank’s Operations Manager Stefanie Stallmeister, Canadian Embassy’s Acting Head of Cooperation Nina Seahra, and Head of the State Budget Department Võ Thành Hưng pushed the activation button at the launching ceremony on 26 August 2020. Among the attendants were Vice Minister of Information and Communications Phạm Anh Tuấn, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Hoàng Quang Phòng and representatives of other ministries, etc.
Enhancing budget transparency and accountability
The Open Budget Portal has been developed by the Ministry of Finance with the support of the Vietnam Public Financial Management Analytical and Advisory Assistance (AAA) Program. The AAA program is co-financed by the Swiss Government and the Canadian Government and commissioned by the World Bank since 2016. The Open Budget Portal is envisaged to lead to positive effects on the management of state budget and finance, particularly through budget transparency.
Minister of Finance Đinh Tiến Dũng and counterparts pushed the activation button
Mr. Nguyễn Đại Trí, head of the Department of Financial Informatics and Statistics (Ministry of Finance), which is the agency in charge of the development, operation and management of the Open Budget Portal, said that the Portal was drawn upon national requirements and international best practices in budget transparency. It will contribute to the realization of the Government and the Ministry of Finance’s commitments to transparency and accountability in allocation, management and utilization of public resources. The Portal will help the Ministry of Finance to monitor and consolidate budget reports of ministries and subnational governments in a faster and more concise manner. At the same time, the portal allows the ministries and subnational governments to make public their budget reports. The Portal will also serve as a data hub for citizens, researchers andbusiness entities to enhance understanding and participation in Vietnam’s public finance and budget management processes. Consequently, Vietnam, its ministries and subnational governments will improve their performance in open budget assessments.
Swiss Ambassador Ivo Sieber
Swiss Ambassador Ivo Sieber congratulated the Ministry of Finance on launching the Open Budget Portal at the 75th anniversary of Vietnam’s post-independence public finance. He emphasized that the launch marked one of Vietnam’s successes in adopting modern public financial management.
Meanwhile, the World Bank’s Operations Manager Stefanie Stallmeister noted that Vietnam has made significant progress in disclosing budget information, which was considered state secret in the 1990s. The Open Budget Portal provides more inclusive and transparent budget and helps to strengthen macroeconomic management, improve market perceptions of risk, and increase accountability for service delivery. ‘This initiative is seen as the latest effort of the Ministry of Finance to accelerate public administration reforms by which e-reporting will gradually replace the current manual processes. It is expected that beside core information on the State budget, the Portal will have other tools and features in the future to come,’ said Stallmeister.
The World Bank’s Operations Manager in Vietnam Stefanie Stallmeister
Starting point for Open data
At the launching ceremony, Minister of Finance Đinh Tiến Dũng emphasized, ‘Improvements in budget transparency have contributed to faciliating the access of the public to allocation and utilization of budget resources. They have initially created an important information channel for analysis, assessment and research on the State budget and helped to enhance the monitoring from the public. The development of the Open Budget Portal is the starting point for the Ministry of Finance to collect Big data on public finance to provide them to the public, businesses and other entities within and outside the country. It will also help to connect and provide data to the National Data Portal and other ministries.’
‘The development of the Open Budget Portal received the support from the World Bank, Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and Global Affairs Canada (GAC) via the Vietnam Public Financial Management Analytical and Advisory Assistance Program (in short the AAA program). It was built upon advanced technology which helps to consolidate and disclose budget data at all levels, to visualize data and to conduct multi-dimensional data mining in an easier, more convenient and user-friendly manner. Vietnam has been integrating further into the global economy. We hope that development partners will continue sharing international best practices with the Ministry of Finance and helping us to tailor them to Vietnam’s circumstances in the time to come,’ said Minister Đinh Tiến Dũng./.
Kim Chung (Translator: WB)