• Australia backs Citizen Participatory Audit

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    THE Australian government on Wednesday expressed support to the Philippine government’s Citizen Participatory Audit Project, which recently won the Bright Spot Award in London for its aim to make government transactions more transparent and accountable.

    In a statement, the Australian Embassy in Manila said its government is behind the Philippines in its efforts “to improve the efficiency, accountability and transparency of public fund use in the Philippines by engaging citizens to participate in the audit process for government projects, among others.”

    “Through the Public Financial Management Program [PFMP], the Australian government supports the Philippine government’s efforts to modernize its public financial management system,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell said.

    He added that a more effective and open budget process in the Philippines is important “to combat corruption and direct public spending to where the development needs are greatest.”

    Initiatives such as the Zero-Based Budgeting and Open Government Partnership already signal the administration’s strong commitment, Tweddell added.

    Australia has already committed P1.3 billion (Aus $30 million) to implement the PFMP from 2011 to 2016.

    “This program will prioritize practical budgeting and expenditure management reforms. It will help those responsible for managing public funds to do their jobs efficiently, effectively and most importantly, in an accountable way so that Filipinos benefit from improved delivery of goods and services,” Tweddell said.

    One of the PFMP’s initiatives, the Citizen Participatory Audit Project, recently won the Bright Spot Award at the Open Government Partnership Summit held in London, United Kingdom, from October 31 to November 1.

    The award recognized the most inspiring cases of how open and accountable government is changing people’s lives.

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