Security Budget and the Civil Society
The paper tackles the growing interest in the processes of developing public budgets, how transparent they are and the definition of transparency. It highlights the importance of the Open Budget index 2008 that proved that the Middle East countries are the least transparent regarding public budgets.
The paper points out the special position of security budgets which includes the budget of both the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defense in Egypt and how the Shura Council and the People’s Assembly delegate the President of the Republic to issue presidential decrees regarding buying and selling weapons for the Egyptian military since 1967. It highlights some shortages that prevent the activation of popular and parliamentary oversight of the budget such as lack of sufficient transparency in the initial stages of making the budget.
Then the paper addresses in details the stages of preparing the budget, identifies the stages that the civil society should participate in, how it can play a role in enhancing transparency in the security budget and the major obstacles that prevent the involvement of civil society in discussing, preparing and implementing security budgets. The paper concludes with some recommendations.