While the current picture is bleak, budget transparency has improved steadily over the four rounds of the Survey since 2006, and such countries as Honduras, Afghanistan, and Mozambique have made major improvements. These examples show that the commitment of governments — combined with donor interventions, international standards, and civil society pressure — can significantly and rapidly improve budget transparency.
Dylan Matthews adds:
[O]verall, the document is a pretty strong vote of confidence in the [US] federal government’s transparency efforts. While not perfect, our budget offices beat just about every peer country, from Spain to Italy to Germany. We best India and absolutely crush China (Russia, curiously, actually does pretty well in this area). Features like this and the presence of reliable statistical agencies like the Bureau of Labor Statistics are real triumphs of governance, and worth being proud of.