Bogotá has joined the ranks of the Global Initiative for Tax Transparency (GIFT), a global network that promotes the good practice of open dialogue between government, business and various stakeholders in fiscal transparency and public participation.
Leaders for GIFT highlighted that Bogotá is the first local government in the world to join this initiative. Generally, it’s not unheard of to hear of a country that might have joined, but so far, no city has met all the criteria.
In less than two years, Bogotá has been accepted into four international transparency initiatives, achieving great recognition for its efficiency in public management. This recognition extends to the city’s development of easy-to-navigate platforms with statistical information and open data for decision-making and strategic planning.
General Secretary of Bogotá, Margarita Barraquer explains that the city applied for this initiative by green-lighting projects that empower citizens and allow them to access information in open data so that they can explore, analyze and participate in the development of new proposals that benefit the city and its inhabitants.
"For example, the Fiscal Observatory being developed by the District Secretariat of Finance was presented, a tool for analysis and share information on city’s public finance, which seeks to become the main source of information on the finances of the Capital District. Other platforms were also presented, such as the contracting portal where detailed data on contracts financed with public resources are published, and the exercises that have been done on citizen and participatory budgeting”.
These developments have allowed citizens to be kept informed about the progress in the collection and distribution of the budget and its execution; the level of the city's debt and the indicators that reflect the state of its finances, In the end, all of the contributions made on behalf of the city were ultimately what the GIFT's technical team were looking for and were instrumental in embracing the city in this initiative.
"This is an important step to continue strengthening the oversight of social control and ensure that citizens appropriate the information and defend the public," said Secretary Margarita Barraquer.
According to Juan Pablo Guerrero, GIFT Network Director “Bogota has been actively participation in regional peer-exchange on financial management, open data and use of technology to advance fiscal transparency and public participation. Bogota also held its ever #BetterBudget Dataquest for Sustainable Development this year through organizing online tutorials to introduce open data and its value to citizens and government”.
And so, Bogotá advances in line with the fifth tenet of the District Development Plan that seeks to install transparency and awareness in the Bogotá-Region.
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