Derek Gill, TINZ Member with Delegated Authority for Public Finance, led a one-day workshop in Fiji providing an introduction to public budgeting. The workshop included participants from Integrity Fiji, the Ministry of Finance, the Fiji National University, the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption and Transparency International Vanuatu’s Finance Officer Lusianne Pelagio Maho.
The workshop covered good practice principles for fiscal policy, tax policy, financial management, public enterprises, and outcomes reporting. Other sessions covered the stages of budgeting, key institutions, as well as cheating and irregularities. Participants assessed the Fijian Budget against three criteria: Macro – stability; Meso – sectoral shares; Micro – quality of interventions.
One of the features of good practice budgeting missing from the Fijian Budget cycle is Citizen’s Budgets. This involves providing ‘putting it simply’ guides that make key budget documents more accessible to citizens. This practice has been piloted in Vanuatu and there was particular interest in introducing Citizen’s Budgets to Fiji.
“Derek was a huge hit in Fiji and we are hoping to get him back for a follow up event. He has the talent of explaining complex technical stuff very simply with good examples and anecdotes.” says Joseph Veramu Executive Director of Integrity Fiji.
The Fiji Government Budget for July 2022 to August 2023 was released on June 30.
Integrity Fiji staff and its partners will meet soon to assess the Budget based on Macro, Meso and Micro assessment criterias. Integrity Fiji will work closely with the Ministry of Finance Budget Division on explaining the salient points of the National Budget to community groups.