Budgetary Transparency and Accountability

In 2012, the Open Budget Survey ranked South Africa second in the world when it comes to budgetary transparency. The government provides the public with timely access to comprehensive information contained in the budget and is committed to transparency, at least nationally. However, the same cannot be said when it comes to accountability. Neither maladministration nor mismanagement of funds is accounted for, and although the criminalization thereof is provided for by the PFMA, this mechanism is seldom, if ever, used. The time is ripe for strategic litigation in this area, but the question is how? This panel should focus on a discussion of (a) why budgetary accountability is necessary; (b) what mechanisms are available to enforce budgetary accountability – the PFMA, the Auditor-General; and (c) recent foreign case law on litigation around budgetary accountability.

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