Speakers for disclosure of financial information

Participants at a training workshop on "Budget Advocacy and Accountability" have stressed the need for disclosure of budget document and other financial information to general public through various means, which is now essential after promulgation of Right to Information law in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The publishing of performance report by different was also obligatory for ensuring transparency and accountability factor high at public sector institutions and organizations, they stressed. The workshop was organized by the Centre for Governance and Pubic Accountability (CGPA) in collaboration with Open Society Foundation here at local hotel. Syed Kausar Abbas and Zahra Lodhi from Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) facilitated the training workshop.

The participants were included from different civil society, lawyers, financial mangers, and media persons. The main theme of the train was how to access and demystify the budget books for improved public accountability and service delivery at local level. At the opening day, the participants were informed about how to access information under KP Right to Information Ordinance 2013, local government system in KP, anticipated changed in KP Local government law, fiscal transfers from federal to provincial and provincial to local level to district, tehsil, and union councils, and the process that is followed in making of the budget.

The trainers were informed the participants about understanding and analyzing current budget, an overview of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Budget 2013-14 and ways and means of effective engaging district governments for budget openness and transparency at concluding day of workshop.

Komal Khalid, program officer CGPA, hosted the workshop and thanked the trainers as well as the participants. She said that the interest shown by CSOs' and media was very encouraging and the importance of understanding the budget and where our money is going and how to advocate for participatory, gender sensitive and pro-poor budgeting. The participants demanded that public information officials should soon be appointed in each department so they can get budget related information.