: / Analytics / Local Governance Assessment in Kyrgyzstan (2005)

Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago

Indicator 4. The AO body is more transparent and accountable

While the fiscal decentralization process is progressing in Kyrgyzstan, it is too early to say that decisions pertaining to local budgets are transparent. While most of the leaders from the pilots are undertaking efforts to engage more people into discussing the budget planning activities, the process is still not well developed. From the records of FGDs, citizens say that they are not active at all. At the same time they are confident that there is a lack of information about most of the decisions, which is a main source of disbelief with the AOs.
The consultant attempted to assess the situation through informal discussions to identify the extent to which the citizens have any access to the budgetary information. The information which was collected from the FGDs indicates that people have more opportunities today to learn about the details of the budgets as compared to before the pilot. The leaders of the all pilot AOs mentioned that they had increased efforts to make transparent decisions.
30% of the citizens in our community are aware about the information on main budget expenses the public and budget hearings were held twice a year. But the citizens still are not satisfied with the quality of the information and its outreach. - Seitmamat, AK deputy, AO Kokart (Pilot), Jalalabad.
As a result of collaborative work on budgets between the AK and the leader of the AO, the latter had also articulated the importance of involving ordinary citizens in wider discussions of the budgetary decisions. According to them, it could help mobilize the community for public activities such as ashars.[1] One of the ways to engage the people and increase the transparency and accountability of the AOs is to publicize more results of the various checks and audits. The question about access of the AK deputies to the results of the auditing process illustrates that in pilots the deputies are receiving more information on the audit inspection checks. See Diagram 9 for details.
As report cards illustrate, out of the 17 pilot AOs, at least half (8) indicate that budgets are more transparent. Only one seemed to have had no lasting impact yet. In the remaining 8, the impact was difficult to assess or the results were mixed.
From the general analyses of this performance indicator, it appears that several questions may have been interpreted differently than intended by some of the respondents. Also facilitators noted, the auditing process in most cases is initiated by the district controlling units and respondents used to understand the regular inspection checks as the auditing process.
Additionally, some of the report cards received from the citizens show that latter in non-pilot AOs had ranked LG performance at high level which equals or even exceeds the scores given by citizens in pilots. This distortion could be explained as fear of the citizens to provide an objective information. The external facilitators had also confirmed this incompliance by placing the lower scores in non pilots.

[1] Ashars are traditional short term voluntarily work where the majority of the community inhabitants are involved.