“Budget Promises: Beyond Parliament”

“Budget Promises: Beyond Parliament” is a pioneering online platform that tracks the government’s performance in delivering on its budget promises. 


The platform was launched in 2017 and seeks to answer two basic questions about the promises the government makes in its annual Budget Speech:

  • (i) Is the government doing what it is saying?
  • (ii) Is the government saying what it is doing?

By giving the public access to the answers to these questions, the platform aims to

  • (i) Improve visibility of the government’s budget promises; and
  • (ii) Hold it accountable for these promises.


How it works

BudgetPromises.Org tracks new expenditure proposals or ‘promises’ in the Budget Speech (listed in Annex 2 of the speech) which have an allocation of over LKR 1,000 million. In 2017, the platform tracked 37 proposals valued at LKR 116,910 million. In 2018, the platform tracks 38 promises with a total value of LKR 149,350 million.

The platform is updated twice a year and assesses each of these promises using two indicators:  Openness and  Progress. A mid-year assessment of performance for the first six months is released in October of the year and a year-end assessment of performance for the full year is released in April/May of the following year.

Openness Tracker

This tracks to what extent the government is saying what it is doing about each promise. It measures the government’s level of disclosure of information about the implementation of each promise. The tracker uses information obtained via (i) relevant government websites; (ii) visits to government agencies; and (iii) requests filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The mid-year assessment measures the extent to which the government has been open about disclosing information on the implementation of the first six months of progress on budget promises. The year-end assessment measures the government’s openness on disclosing information on progress for the full year.

Openness is categorised as follows:

  • Closed- No information is available to determine progress for full period of assessment
  • Restricted- Information is insufficient to determine progress of the promise for the full period of assessment
  • Uncooperative- Information available on the promise required considerable effort to obtain and/or assess progress
  • Responsive- Information on progress of the promise was available upon request in a timely manner
  • Open- Information on full progress of the promise is proactively disclosed

Progress Tracker

This tracks to what extent the government is doing what it is saying. It evaluates the level of progress of the government in implementing the promises, based on timelines and milestones established by the agency responsible.

For the mid-year assessment progress is categorised as follows:

  • Undisclosed- No information is available on the promise or available information is unusable
  • Broken- The promise has been dropped or postponed and is not scheduled for implementation in the year of assessment
  • Neglected- The promise is scheduled for implementation but not initiated
  • Lagging- The promise is being implemented but is behind schedule
  • Progressing- The promise is being implemented and is on track or ahead of target**

*A promise is considered to be progressing if progress achieved as at 30 June 2018 is within 90% of the target set for the period.

For the year-end assessment progress is categorised as follows:

  • Undisclosed- No information is available to determine the status of the promise or available information is insufficient/unusable
  • Broken- No progress has been made on the promise or the promise has been removed from the action plan for the year
  • Poor- Progress on the promise is less than 33% of the target
  • Partial- Progress on the promise is between 33% - 66% of the target
  • Substantial- Progress on the promise is between 66% - 80% of the target
  • Fulfilled- Progress on the promise is over 80% of the target

Note: The number of proposals categorised under the openness tracker as 'closed' and 'restricted' do not tally with the number of proposals categorised as 'undisclosed', despite having similar definitions i.e. information not received/insufficient to assess progress. This is because when categorising openness, availability of information from the agency responsible for executing the proposal was prioritised. However, when categorising progress, any information provided by third parties (e.g. DPMM) was also used to assess progress.

Disclaimer

The information contained on this platform has been compiled from government records, official publications, public records, and information received by filing Right to Information requests. The information contained on this platform does not express the personal views and opinions of Verité Research or its members. Verité Research shall not be liable in any manner whatsoever for any loss or damage, including any alleged loss or damage to reputation that may be perceived to be incurred as a result of the information contained on the platform.


While every attempt has been made to ensure that the information contained on this platform has been obtained from reliable sources, Verité Research and the team members of budgetpromises.org are not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. Users are not authorised to modify, publish, transmit, transfer, sell, reproduce, create derivative work from, distribute, repost, perform, display or in any manner commercially exploit any of the content on this platform without prior written consent of Verité Research. Also, budgetpromises.org is not liable for any subsequent use of the material, whether such use is with or without the previous consent of Verité Research.



Budgetpromises.org does not support, endorse, represent, and is not affiliated with any political party and/or politically motivated organisation. Analysis indicators used are merely a statistical inference of the performance.


The information contained on this platform is being provided free of charge in the interest of building awareness. There is no agreement or understanding between Verité Research or the team members of budgetpromises.org and any user to provide the information contained on this platform.


This platform contains independent analysis pieces commissioned by budgetpromises.org to indicate and reflect on the trends exhibited in the data. The re-production of such analysis pieces must be with the prior consent of Verité Research.