Transparency is assimilated as a core concept by open governments and is viewed as a crucial point of view to government accountability. Anyhow, the measurement of transparency of governmental actions remains in shadow and unclear, as the concept encompasses many dimensions, which have distinct effects. In this view, transparency in government decision-making can increase the trust of citizens, improve accountability of policy makers and lead to common European objectives for inspiring countries like Albania. The envisaged actions to enhance transparency, should improve the ability of people to have their voice heard by government officials and make suggestions for policy actions in the candidate Member States and the EU as a whole.
According to this important step versus the transparency of government actions, the ability of civil society organizations to collect, compares, interprets, analyze, evaluate and present financial data and information on public income, budgets and expenditure is crucial. As transparency is also an important element for fighting fraud and corruption, this can be understood as an increased need for the transparency.
The citizens and businesses should be able to understand administrative processes. They should have the right to follow and understand the administrative procedures that involve them and their prospective life, and have insight into the rationale behind decisions that could affect them. Transparency allows citizens and businesses to give feedback about the quality of the public services provided, to contribute to their improvement and to the implementation of new public services and increase of life quality.
A government budget is divided into two main sides: budget tax and non tax income and budget expenditures. These two basic components are connected.
The tax and non tax income side includes income that the government is expecting from a variety of sources. These can include taxes (direct and indirect taxes like income and wealth tax for people and businesses, tax on company profits, capital gains tax, property tax, V.A.T., and miscellaneous fees and dues), domestic and external borrowing, grants and international aid (for instance, budget support), sales of assets (sale or privatization of property, services, and concessions), profits from state ventures, and from printing money.
The expenditure side of the budget includes the planned use of the budget incomes on goods and services, administration, health and education, military and police, investment, and repayment of external and internal debts. An important component is the budget balance that can be surplus or deficit result. A surplus occurs when revenues exceed expenditures, and a budget deficit occurs when government expenditure is greater than its revenue. For some developed economies it was accepted the theory that government budgets would generally have a deficit which would be financed by borrowing. In recent years those governments have been directed to plan for balanced budgets. Not all governments are equally successful at aligning actual revenue collection and spending with the proposals stated in the budget. Deviations from the original budget may be necessary to react to changes in the external environment, as a result of refinements to government policy, or be due to poor management.
So, the transparency may be considered as a conventional sign of good governance. Good governance is based on four components: accountability, transparency, predictability, and participation. Accountability should be understood as the capacity to call public officials to task for their actions. Transparency presents the low-cost access to relevant information. Predictability depends primarily from laws and regulations that are clear, known in advance, and uniformly and effectively enforced. Participation is needed to generate consensus, supply reliable information, and provide a reality check for government action.
If the decisions and procedures of the government could be opened to the general public, then is clear for the citizens that the government is allowing the dissemination of information through media, websites or public relation offices. But, also we have to accept that, while transparency may be fundamental to the practice of democracy some light level of secrecy can be fundamental to running a state. We expect our government to keep us safe and sometimes this can only be done if we accept that national security means we cannot know everything.
The public demand for transparency will be increased with the advancing of technology development. Citizens have an expectation and a right to know what their government is doing, how they are spending tax collected. The most important civic interest is how the government is performing against budget and economic goals and objectives.
We know from Albanian governmental practice until now, that it is impossible for the government budget to reflect the preferences and requests of society and to incorporate the principles of good governance if it includes only a small proportion of revenues and expenditures.