DR Leads the Americas in Budget Transparency

Since the beginning of this administration, the General Budget Directorate (Digepres) has made transparency and social control one of its strategic axes, which has placed the Dominican Republic in the number 1 position in the entire American continent and fourth among 125 countries evaluated in terms of citizen participation in the budget, according to the Open Budget Survey (OBS) 2023, conducted by the International Budget Partnership (IBP).

The main source for budget analysis is the weekly publication of Digepres, in its institutional portal, from where, through the correct use of a dynamic table, accurate information can be extracted according to the different budget classifiers.

Thus, to say that: “In April, the Government allocated 1,037 million pesos in per diems and representation expenses, averaging almost 35 million pesos per day”, is a misuse of the information provided and of the concept of government, since this data does not discriminate between the Executive Power and the other constitutional organs of the State, including the Central Electoral Board.

Excluding the expense related to per diems and representation expenses of the Central Electoral Board (JCE) in the context of presidential, congressional and municipal elections, which represented an amount from January to April of RD 973.6 million, this expense of the Executive Branch remains at RD 152.8 million in 2024, while in 2019 it reached an amount of RD 334.1 million, and RD 367.1 million, in 2020.

It is good to specify that, during 2019 and 2020, only one Ministry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, executed RD 320.3 and RD 350.9 million, that is, much more than all the Ministries together in 2024.

Specifically, in the month of April 2020, the Executive Branch spent RD 93.8 million, in per diems and representation expenses, while what was executed in 2024 reached only RD 38.6 million.

The source for this data is the Financial Management Information System (Sigef) of Digepres.

Likewise, when it says: “In April 2024, the Government reported to have allocated RD 20,929 million in remunerations, an increase of RD 2,095 million with respect to the monthly average of 2023 (excluding the months of double salary payments, of course)”, the data is again used without precision and erroneously the classifier.

In sub-account 2.1.1 Remunerations, it is true that the exact figure of increase in the Executive Branch is RD 2,024 million, but it is because a clear policy of compliance has been followed with the 4% of the GDP destined to education and the dignification of the salary of police personnel, defense, and the management of the prevention of illicit activities of drugs and controlled substances, at the national level, which represents 80% of the increase. The “onion salary” no longer exists.

The increase in the salaries of the rest of the institutions averaged RD 9.4 million, which, when considering natural inflation between periods, is not significant.

Finally, to make fair comparisons between years, it is necessary to deflate the amounts to isolate the effect of price increases between 2024 and previous years such as 2019. In addition, it is necessary to know the changes that have been made in the budget classifiers, in this case the object of expenditure, and administrative decisions that make the recording of spending transparent, a factor that is evident in the elimination of the use of “zafacón” accounts.

Without considering these elements, any comparison may be misleading.

Never before have the Government and the General Budget Office implemented measures to guarantee the citizens’ right to know and to raise the levels of transparency, control and social participation. As a sample, the information that is punctually served from the institution and the tools committed to bring the General State Budget closer to the population than ever before.


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Dominican Republic Live Editor

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