National Budget Circular 542

National Budget Circular 542, issued by the Department of Budget and Management on August 29, 2012, reiterates compliance with Section 93 of the General Appropriations Act of FY 2017. Section 93 is the Transparency Seal provision, to wit:

Sec. 93. Transparency Seal. To enhance transparency and enforce accountability, all agencies of the government shall maintain a Transparency Seal to be posted on their websites. The transparency seal shall contain the following: (i) the agency’s mandates and functions, names of its officials with their position and designation, and contact information; (ii) approved budgets and corresponding targets, immediately upon approval of this Act; (iii) modifications made pursuant to the general provisions of this Act; (iv) annual procurement plan/s and contracts awarded with the winning supplier, contractor or consultant; (v) major programs and projects categorized in accordance with the five key result areas under E.O. No. 43, s. 2011 and their target beneficiaries; (vi) status of implementation, evaluation and/or assessment reports of said programs and projects; and (vii) Budget and Financial Accountability Reports, pursuant to COA and DBM J.C. No. 2014-1 dated July 1, 2014; and (viii) annual reports on the status of income authorized by law to be retained and/or used and be deposited outside the National Treasury, which shall include the legal basis for its retention and/or use, the beginning balance, income collected and its sources, expenditures, and ending balance for the preceding fiscal year.

The heads of the agencies and web administrators or their equivalent shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with this section.

A Transparency Seal, prominently displayed on the main page of the website of a particular government agency, is a certificate that it has complied with the requirements of Section 93. This Seal links to a page within the agency’s website which contains an index of downloadable items of each of the above-mentioned documents.

Symbolism

A pearl buried inside a tightly-shut shell is practically worthless. Government information is a pearl, meant to be shared with the public in order to maximize its inherent value.

The Transparency Seal, depicted by a pearl shining out of an open shell, is a symbol of