Public Revenue Reporting and Monitoring

Published: 2021-08-10 13:10:07
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Category: Revenue

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Reporting and Monitoring The main sources of public revenue are: ? Taxes and levies such as for e. g. income tax, property tax, sales tax, license fees, import and export duties, levies charged for services etc ? ? Earnings from natural resources like oil, gas, minerals etc ? ? ? Loans from other governments, the private sector, or international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and regional ? development banks that must eventually be repaid with interest; and ? Grants-in-aid from other governments, multilateral institutions, international donors, foundations, NGOs or private sector actors, often earmarked for particular humanitarian or development purposes.? ? Public reporting and monitoring involves three components: 1. Component one: Revenue transparency/reporting Governments release or publish financial information through various avenues such as web sites, financial statements and reports, press releases, public bulletin boards, community radio etc. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? A first step for concerned citizens/CSOs is to determine what types of revenue reports are publicly available. ? Request copies of these reports while keeping records of all correspondence. ? Where access to revenue reports is limited, work towards the adoption of right to information legislation including access to public financial information. ? Partner and build coalitions with sympathetic government officials, concerned NGOs, relevant international bodies and the media to encourage revenue transparency/reporting. Find out and discuss how the government itself views its revenue base and what plans or strategies it has in place regarding taxes, revenues from natural resources, loans, grants, etc. ? If possible, take a deeper look at each slice of the revenue pie. Consider how important, effective and reliable each one is as a revenue source in terms of their sustainability and equitability. ? ? 3. Component two: Monitoring revenues from natural resources
Revenues from natural resources such as oil, gas and minerals are an important source of income for the governments of in many developing countries. When properly managed, these revenues can serve as a valuable source of funds poverty reduction, economic growth and sustainable development. Unfortunately, this is often not the case as the lack of transparency and strong regulatory institutions has led to large scale abuse of funds and corruption.
Companies in the extractive industry make payments directly to governments in the form of royalties, bonus payments and taxes providing the state with an independent source of funds unlike taxes which are citizen-dependent. Citizens often have little or no access to information about these payments, because contracts with extractive industry companies are customarily shrouded in mutual confidentiality clauses forbidding either party from disclosing information without permission of the other.
In the economies of resource rich countries, these revenues reduce the need for taxation and thereby eliminate a key motivator for citizens’ scrutiny of public finances. They also give governments ample resources to buy political support through patronage and legislatures often have little or no budget oversight. This partly explains the poor development outcomes in resource rich countries. In this context, an immediate high priority is to improve the quality and public disclosure of data on resource revenue transactions.
When armed with the information of how much money the government is receiving from natural resource revenues, citizens can demand accountability and monitor how the money is spent. The case Studies described in the succeeding of this article such as the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative and the Publish What You Pay Campaign demonstrate the nature of a number of initiatives that have been launched to help CSOs in conjunction with government and private sector companies, to enhance the public transparency of natural resource revenues. . Component three: Monitoring government borrowing and aid Many developing countries depend on external loans or grants as a major source of revenue. In order to ensure such sources of revenue are justly and equitably used, it is important for citizens and civil society groups to track the source and amount of international aid as well as how the money is being used. When governments borrow money, they add up to the public debts which must eventually be repaid often with interest.
It is therefore important for citizens to be aware of the extent of public debt as well as the conditions attached to loan agreements. Grants are also an important source of government revenue in some countries and can make an important contribution to development. However, aid can also have negative effects, especially if it is not monitored properly or is used in ways that do not benefit people living in poverty. Such efforts should reinforce and complement the monitoring carried out by donors.

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