IMF criticism forces Johnsen’s hand / News / The Foreigner

IMF criticism forces Johnsen’s hand. Ministries’ financial expenses to become public knowledge. In an effort to stop corruption and misuse of taxpayers’ money, Labour’s Sigbjørn Johnsen (Ap), the government’s Minister of Finance, says he’s to make details of Cabinet members’ expenditure available for public scrutiny. “Increased openness about public administration, including transparency of budgetary and accounting information is an international trend,” Johnsen tells Aftenposten.

sigbjoern, johnsen, norway, finance, minister, cabinet, members, ministries, expenditure, international, monetary, fund, imf, control, transparency, misappropriation



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IMF criticism forces Johnsen’s hand

Published on Monday, 25th January, 2010 at 20:14 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Ministries’ financial expenses to become public knowledge.

Sigbjørn Johnsen, Finance minister
Sigbjørn Johnsen, Finance minister
Photo: Fylkestinget i Nord-Trøndelag/Flickr


Nothing to hide

In an effort to stop corruption and misuse of taxpayers’ money, Labour’s Sigbjørn Johnsen (Ap), the government’s Minister of Finance, says he’s to make details of Cabinet members’ expenditure available for public scrutiny.

“Increased openness about public administration, including transparency of budgetary and accounting information is an international trend,” Johnsen tells Aftenposten.

The minister’s proposal means that monthly accounting lists will be published on the Internet for both the authorities and public to see.

International criticism

However, Johnsen’s measures only come as a result of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) recent report, which censures Norway’s budget and accounting routines for 2009.

“The IMF points out that the Norwegian system makes it difficult to follow spending and changes throughout the year,” he says.

According to the paper today’s system is too slow, as it takes a long time before the public is allowed to inspect cabinet members’ accounts. It’s also open to abuse, increasing the danger of misappropriation of public funds and corruption.

Improved control

Johnsen argues his initiative will both make this easier, and make the government more aware of the ministries’ ongoing expenditure.

49 people and companies in Norway were found guilty of corruption between 2005 and 2008, including several public institutions such as the military, and Ullevål hospital.

Common to many of these was the lack of transparency; making it possible to hide how they spent their money for years.



Published on Monday, 25th January, 2010 at 20:14 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: sigbjoern, johnsen, norway, finance, minister, cabinet, members, ministries, expenditure, international, monetary, fund, imf, control, transparency, misappropriation.





  
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