Promise Tracker

“Budget Promises: Beyond Parliament”

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

The purpose of this platform is to:

  • (i) Improve visibility of the promises
  • (ii) Improve visibility of the government’s execution of these promises; and
  • (iii) Encourage public debate and discussion on the above.

To this end, the platform tracks a large subset of the budget promises and seeks the to answer two basic questions about them:
  • ■ Is the Government doing what they are saying?
  • ■ Is the Government saying what they are doing?

How it works

The platform tracks expenditure proposals, or ‘promises’, in the Budget Speech with an allocation of over LKR 1 billion (these proposals can be found in Annexure 2 of the Budget Speech). In the 2017 Budget Speech, there were 37 such proposals. The total value of these proposals was LKR 116.9 billion, which is over 80% of the total value of new expenditure proposals in the 2017 Budget Speech.

The platform then assesses each of these proposals, or ‘promises’, using two indicators: Openness and Progress.

Openness Tracker

This indicator tracks to what extent the Government is saying what they are doing about each promise. More technically, it assesses the ease of access and level of disclosure of publicly available information about the implementation of each promise. The openness of information for a promise varies as follows:

Closed - No information to determine progress or unresponsive to information request

Restricted - Information insufficient to provide a complete assessment for the whole year

Uncooperative – Sufficient information obtained with difficulty

Responsive - Significant information available and accessible upon request

Open - Extensive information available and accessible with ease

Information on promises was accessed via three modes: (i) checks of relevant government websites, (ii) calls/visits to government agencies, and (iii) requests for information filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Progress Tracker

This indicator tracks to what extent the government is doing what they are saying they will do. More technically, it tracks the level of progress on implementing the promises. The evaluation is based on the timelines and milestones set by the government agency responsible for actioning the promise. The Progress of implementation of a promise varies as follows:

Undisclosed - Insufficient or no information to determine status of promise

Broken - No progress on promise or promise removed from 2017 action plan

Poor – Promise in its initial stages

Partial - Promise completed halfway

Substantial - Promise close to completion

Fulfilled - Promise fulfilled

By indicating the levels of government disclosure and progress on each of the promises, the platform provides a novel and neutral basis on which to assess the government’s performance in fulfilling its budget promises.

Contact us is managed by Verité Research in partnership with Saberion. Verité Research is an independent multi-disciplinary think tank that provides strategic analysis and advice to decision-makers and opinion-formers in Asia. Saberion is a leading transnational web and mobile technology provider based in Sri Lanka.


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