Wau: Civil Society trained in government budgeting process
Civil society organizations in Wau in Western Bahr el Ghazal State were on Tuesday trained in the state’s budget-making process and how to track government expenditure.
The one-day training was facilitated by the Institute of Social Policy and Research (ISPR) and attended by 21 participants.
Speaking at the end of the training, the director of budgeting in the Western Bahr el Ghazal State finance ministry, Anthony Andrea, said the training was important because it emphasized transparency in government budgeting and expenditure.
“This workshop is important because it emphasized the details about the budget which is allocated by the national government to the state and I have come to understand, through this organization, how to use budgeted funds,” he said. “Our citizens also need to know about government expenditure.”
Kamisa Daniel, one of the workshop participants, said transparency was vital in government expenditure and citizens need to know how the state spends revenue collected through local taxes and other sources.
“I have benefited from this workshop because I want to know if the budget has arrived in my state, I want to know what the state government spent the budget on because we need to get basic services,” said Daniel.
Meanwhile, Edward Ngong, the civil society representative at the workshop, recommended that the state government make financial reports public.
“We strongly recommended that all public institutions and ministries publicly publish financial expenditure reports and allow citizens, who are the beneficiaries, scrutinize and audit government,” he said. “We also are calling upon development partners to provide support to civil society to educate the public on their rights and roles in the budget-making process.”
On his part, Awo Daniel, of the Institute of Social Policy and Research, said their organization has been tirelessly implementing the project on enhancing citizens’ participation in transparent and accountable budgeting.
“Today (Tuesday) we conducted an activity on changing the policy and practices to make budget decisions and allocation of funds based on the needs of the south Sudanese citizens,” he said. “We are implementing this project in Juba, Wau, and Yambio in a consortium with the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) through support from the Norwegian Embassy.”