Budget Monitor Portal for Public Engagement in Georgia

Georgia committed to enhancing citizen participation and transparency in the supervision process of public finances via an online monitoring portal.

Problems and Purpose

The Budget Monitor online portal was launched to facilitate engagement in the process of auditing public spending, with the aim of improving budget transparency and accountability, as well as promoting more efficient use of budget resources. [1] 

This commitment aims to address the Open Government Partnership “principles, as it employs web technologies 1) to proactively publish information and therefore, increase access to information, 2) to allow citizens to voice their concerns and suggestions, and thus, engage in the audit process, which promotes civic participation, and 3) to give citizens a tool to monitor public finance by voicing out potential violations as well as possible corruption cases, which improves public accountability.”[2]

Background History and Context

Since 2015, the State Audit Office of Georgia (SAOG) has been willing to include citizens’ input in audit work; therefore, they began accepting citizens’ requests and complaints through the post service. For the past two years, "SAOG received 16 citizen requests, out of which 10 were included in the annual audit plan. Even though there was a high rate (63%) of accepted proposals, the nominal amount of received requests/complaints was much lower than was desired by SAOG.” So to improve the low citizen participation, SAOG came up with an “innovative ICT-based solution: Budget Monitor, which enables citizens to send their requests online without much effort.”[3]

Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities

Lead Institution: State Audit Office

“SAO is an independent institution responsible for supporting the Parliament in conducting oversight over government. The functions of the SAO include conducting external audits of the public sector, monitoring party financing, and providing recommendations to the Parliament.”[2]

Participant Recruitment and Selection

The web platform is open to all citizens who wish to voice their concerns and suggestions on the audit process.

Methods and Tools Used

This initiative uses an innovative ICT web platform mechanism, through which various “methods of visualization will be applied to make information easily perceivable on the web-platform. The web platform will form a channel for bilateral communication between the State Audit Office and citizens.” Citizens will be able to submit proposals based on professional surveys on the improvement of the identified shortcomings. The information received can then be taken into consideration in the drafting and implementation process of the audit plan.[4]

What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation

At the initial stage, a strategy was to be drafted, following public consultations with representatives from the civil sector on which mechanisms would ensure constructive citizen participation in the audit cycle, including the monitoring stage of recommendation implementation.

On 24 December 2015, the State Audit Office “issued Decree #196/37, which called for the establishment of a consultation working group with the involvement of multiple organizations, including the Association of Young Economists Georgia (AYEG), ISET Policy Institute, PMC Research Center, Civil Development Agency (CiDA), Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) and others. The objective of the working group was to develop a concept for the web platform. Additionally, with the help of the research company Georgian Opinion Research International (GORBI), the SAO held 14 focus groups, where participants filled out a survey” on end user preferences.[2]

Through the ICT web platform mechanism, citizens receive complete information about the state budget, municipal budget, public finance management, audit findings, and the status of the implementation of recommendations. In March of 2017, the platform was launched and presented to the Parliament of Georgia. The IRM researcher assessed "the website as user-friendly and easy to navigate.”[2]

Since the platform was launched, “SAO estimates more than 15,000 unique visitors, with an average of 400-500 unique users each month.” The daily number of users on varies significantly. Early on after the presentation, around 1,000 users visited daily, while on other days, it ranges from 100 to 10 users. In terms of public feedback, around 10 proposals had been submitted as of the mid-term review, including a few reports of potential corruption cases.[2]

13 workshops took place, featuring invited representatives from municipalities, media, and schools in order to increase awareness on the web portal.[4]

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

The web platform had some media coverage, and was disseminated by civil society organizations, which is expected to lead to increased activity on behalf of the citizens.[2]

Analysis and Lessons Learned

Civil society representatives “positively assess SAO’s earlier efforts to promote the platform, and stress that meetings organized by the agency to introduce the platform were helpful. The platform was actively promoted through ads on Facebook.[4]

The independent reporting mechanism recommends further action be taken toward public dissemination activities and raising awareness on the tool in order to maximize its impact. One civil society representative noted that while the platform offers a unique instrument for public auditing, some of the data could be more detailed in how it is presented.[2]

See Also

Information and Communications Technology


[1] Open Government Partnership and Ministry of Justice of Georgia. (2016). Georgia National Action Plan 2016-2018. Retrieved from

[2] Gogidze, L. & Gzirishvili, T. (n.d.) Independent Reporting Mechanism(IRM): Georgia Progress Report 2016-2017. Retrieved from

[3] State Audit Office of Georgia. (n.d.) “Georgia Budget Monitor.” Public Participation Principles Guide. Retrieved from

[4] Open Government Partnership. (n.d.) Increasing Citizen Participation in Supervision of Public Finances (Public Audit) (GE0055). Retrieved from

External Links

World Summit Awards: Budget Monitor