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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 2020 FISCAL TRANSPARENCY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 7031(b)(1) OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE, FOREIGN OPERATIONS AND RELATED PROGRAMS APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2020 (DIV. G, P.L. 116-94) (FY 2020 SFOAA)

2020 Fiscal Transparency Report

AGENCY:  Department of State

ACTION:  Notice

SUMMARY:  The Department of State (Department) hereby presents the Fiscal Transparency Report pursuant to Section 7031(b)(1) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2020 (Div. G, P.L. 116-94) (FY 2020 SFOAA).  The report describes the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency developed, updated, and strengthened by the Department in consultation with other relevant federal agencies.  It reviews governments that were originally identified in the 2014 Fiscal Transparency Report and Equatorial Guinea.  It assesses those that did not meet the minimum fiscal transparency requirements and indicates whether those governments made significant progress toward meeting the requirements during the review period of January 1 – December 31, 2019.  The report also provides a description of the use of FY 2019 and FY 2020 funds through the Fiscal Transparency Innovation Fund.

Fiscal Transparency

The Department’s fiscal transparency review process assesses whether governments meet minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.  For the purpose of this report, the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency include having key budget documents that are publicly available, substantially complete, and generally reliable.  The review includes an assessment of the transparency of processes for awarding government contracts and licenses for natural resource extraction.  Fiscal transparency is a critical element of effective public financial management, helps build market confidence, and underpins economic sustainability.  Fiscal transparency fosters greater government accountability by providing a window into government budgets for citizens, helping citizens hold their leadership accountable, and facilitating better-informed public debate.

Annual reviews of the fiscal transparency of governments that receive U.S. assistance help ensure U.S. taxpayer funds are used appropriately and provide opportunities to dialogue with governments on the importance of fiscal transparency.

Consistent with the Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the FY 2020 SFOAA, this report identifies the significant progress made by each government to publicly disclose national budget documentation, contracts, and licenses, which is additional to information disclosed in previous years.  It makes specific recommendations of short- and long-term steps such government should take to improve fiscal transparency.  Finally, it includes a detailed description of how funds appropriated by the Act are being used to improve fiscal transparency including benchmarks for measuring progress.

Section 7031(b)(1) of the FY 2020 SFOAA requires the Secretary of State to “update and strengthen” minimum requirements of fiscal transparency for each government receiving assistance appropriated by the Act as identified in the 2014 Fiscal Transparency Report.  Section 7031(b)(2) further requires the Department to make or update any determination of “significant progress” or “no significant progress” in meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency for each government that did not meet the minimum requirements.  Pursuant to Delegation of Authority 245-2, the Deputy Secretary of State has made those determinations for 2020.

The fiscal transparency determinations may change from year to year due to updating and strengthening minimum requirements of fiscal transparency as required by law, changes in governments’ performance on public financial management, or new information coming to the Department’s attention.  As a result, some governments may fall short of these requirements, despite in some cases maintaining or even improving their overall level of fiscal transparency.  The report includes a description of how governments fell short of the minimum requirements.  It outlines any significant progress being made to disclose publicly national budget documentation, contracts, and licenses.  It also provides specific recommendations of short- and long-term steps governments should take to improve fiscal transparency.  Finally, the report outlines the process the Department followed in completing the assessments and describes how U.S. foreign assistance resources have been used to support fiscal transparency.

While a lack of fiscal transparency can be an enabling factor for corruption, the report does not assess corruption.  A finding that a government “does not meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency” does not necessarily mean there is significant corruption in the government.  Similarly, a finding that a government “meets the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency” does not necessarily reflect a low level of corruption.

Fiscal Transparency Review Process and Criteria

The Department has reviewed the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency in consultation with other relevant federal agencies and has updated and strengthened those requirements.  The Department assessed the fiscal transparency of the 140 governments identified in the 2014 Fiscal Transparency Report plus Equatorial Guinea, determined whether the minimum requirements were met, and identified any measures those governments that failed to meet the minimum requirements had implemented to make significant progress toward meeting the requirements.

In conducting the 2020 review, the Department assessed the fiscal transparency of governments during the review period of January 1 – December 31, 2019.  The Department considered information from U.S. embassies and consulates, other U.S. government agencies, international organizations, and civil society organizations.  U.S. diplomatic missions consulted with foreign government officials, international organizations, and civil society organizations to obtain information for these assessments.

In carrying out its evaluation, the Department recognizes specific circumstances and practices of fiscal transparency differ among governments while ensuring minimum fiscal transparency requirements are met in order to enable meaningful public participation in budgeting processes.

Minimum Requirements of Fiscal Transparency

The Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the FY 2020 SFOAA defines “minimum requirements of fiscal transparency” to mean the public disclosure of:

  • national budget documentation (to include income and expenditures by ministry) and
  • government contracts and licenses for natural resource extraction (to include bidding and concession allocation practices).

The 2020 fiscal transparency review process evaluated whether the government publicly disclosed key budget documents, including expenditures broken down by ministry and revenues broken down by source and type.  The review process also evaluated whether the government has an independent supreme audit institution or similar institution that audits the government’s annual financial statements, and whether such audits are made publicly available.  The review further assessed whether the process for awarding licenses and contracts for natural resource extraction is outlined in law or regulation and followed in practice, and whether basic information on such awards is publicly available.  The Department applied the following criteria in assessing whether governments met the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.

Budget information should be:

  • Publicly Available:  Budget documents, including the executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report, should be widely and easily accessible to the general public.  Documents may be available in full from government offices or libraries, widely available government publications, or mass media channels.  Budget documents should be disseminated within a reasonable period of time.  A “reasonable period of time” generally corresponds to:
  • at least one month before the start of the fiscal year and before budget approval by the legislature for the executive budget proposal,
  • within three months of enactment for the enacted budget, and
  • within 12 months of the end of the fiscal year for the end-of-year report.

Information on government debt obligations should also be publicly available.

Beginning with this review period,  the enacted budget and end-of-year report must be available online.  Additionally, information on debt obligations must be publicly available and updated at least annually.

  • Substantially Complete:  Publicly available budget documents should provide a substantially full picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, including natural resource revenues.  Budgets should include expenditures broken down by ministry and revenues broken down by source and type.  Budget documents should detail allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises.  If not, such information should be available in other public documents.  Significant, large state-owned enterprises should have publicly available audited financial statements.  A published budget that does not include significant cash or non-cash resources, including foreign aid, would not be considered substantially complete.  Budget documents should incorporate all special accounts or funds.  If there are off-budget accounts that have a legitimate purpose, they should be audited, the results made public, and the accounts subject to oversight.  Budget documents should also include expenditures to support executive offices or royal families where such expenditures represent a significant budgetary outlay.  The review process recognizes military and intelligence budgets are often not publicly available for national security reasons.  However, military and intelligence budgets should be approved by the parliament and subject to civilian oversight.
  • Reliable:  Budget documents and related data are considered reliable if the information contained therein is credible, meaning actual government revenues and expenditures correspond to the enacted budget.  The government should review budget execution through the course of the year, such as by producing monthly or quarterly budget execution reports.  Significant departures from planned receipts and expenditures should be explained in supplementary budget documents and publicly disclosed in a timely manner.  Financial statements should be prepared according to internationally accepted principles that yield consistent and comparable statements.  The executed budget should be audited by an independent supreme audit institution.  The results of such audits, to include an executive summary with findings or recommendations by the supreme audit institution, should be made public within a reasonable period of time (generally within 12 months of the dissemination of the end-of-year report).

Natural resource extraction contracting and licensing procedures should be:

  • Transparent:  The criteria and procedures for the contracting and licensing of natural resource extraction should be publicly available and codified in law or regulation.  These laws and regulations should be followed in practice.  The basic parameters of concessions and contracts should be made publicly available after the decision.  Such information should include the geographic area covered by the contract or license, the resource being developed, the duration of the contract, and the company to which the contract or license is awarded.

Significant Progress or No Significant Progress

A determination of “significant progress” indicates that during the review period a government has satisfactorily addressed a key deficiency in meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.  A key deficiency is some material condition or fact that causes a government not to meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.

Fiscal Transparency Innovation Fund

Section 7031(b)(3) of the FY 2020 SFOAA requires funds appropriated under the heading “Economic Support Funds” under title III of the Act be made available for programs and activities to assist governments identified in the fiscal transparency report to improve budget transparency and to support civil society organizations that promote fiscal transparency.  In response to a similar requirement, the Department and USAID created the Fiscal Transparency Innovation Fund (FTIF) in Fiscal Year 2012 (FY2012).  FTIF supports programs and activities that assist governments to improve their public financial management and fiscal transparency standards and civil society organizations that promote budget transparency.  The Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment solicit proposals and award funds in accordance with established guide.  For FY2020, the Department and USAID requested $4.5 million for the FTIF to support projects to enhance:  (1) governments’ capacity to develop and execute comprehensive, reliable, and transparent budgets; (2) citizens’ visibility into state expenditure and revenue programs; and/or (3) citizens’ ability to advocate for specific issues related to government budgets and budget processes.

The Department and USAID are preparing to obligate a total of $4 million in FY 2019 Economic Support Funds through the FTIF to support 16 projects in the following countries:  Angola, The Bahamas, Burma, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, The Gambia, Guinea, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Uzbekistan.  Congressional notifications of these funds are forthcoming.  The projects are targeted to advance efforts by government and civil society to enhance fiscal transparency and public financial management practices and to improve public awareness and involvement in the expenditure of public resources.  (The projects involving Seychelles and The Bahamas require additional internal review and approval because they are developed countries, and, as a general matter, the United States does not use foreign assistance resources to fund programs benefitting developed countries.  In addition, projects in Burma, The Gambia, and Uzbekistan require special notification, and assistance to The Gambia is contingent on overcoming restrictions under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.)

Conclusions of Review Process

The Department concluded that, of the 141 governments evaluated, 76 met minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.  Two governments, Samoa and Togo, met minimum requirements in 2020 after not meeting minimum requirements in 2019.  Sixty-five governments  did not meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.  Of these 65, however, 14 governments made significant progress toward meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.

The Department assessed the following governments as meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency for 2020:  Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, North Macedonia , Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Samoa, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, and Uruguay.

The following table lists those governments that were found not to meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency and identifies whether the governments made significant progress toward meeting those requirements:

Governments Assessed in 2020 as not Meeting Minimum Requirements of Fiscal Transparency  Significant Progress  No Significant Progress 
Algeria X
Angola X
Azerbaijan X
Bahamas, The X
Bahrain X
Bangladesh X
Belize X
Benin X
Burma X
Burundi X
Cambodia X
Cameroon X
Central African Republic X
Chad X
People’s Republic of China X
Comoros X
Congo, Democratic Republic of the X
Congo, Republic of the X
Djibouti X
Dominican Republic X
Ecuador X
Egypt X
Equatorial Guinea X
Eswatini X
Ethiopia X
Gabon X
Gambia, The X
Guinea X
Guinea-Bissau X
Haiti X
Iraq X
Laos X
Lebanon X
Lesotho X
Liberia X
Libya X
Madagascar X
Malawi X
Maldives X
Mali X
Mauritania X
Mozambique X
Nicaragua X
Niger X
Nigeria X
Oman X
Pakistan X
Palestinian Authority X
Papua New Guinea X
Rwanda X
Sao Tome and Principe X
Saudi Arabia X
Somalia X
South Sudan X
Sudan X
Suriname X
Tajikistan X
Tanzania X
Turkmenistan X
Ukraine X
Uzbekistan X
Vietnam X
Yemen X
Zambia X
Zimbabwe X

Government-by-Government Assessments

This section describes areas where governments did not meet the Department’s minimum requirements of fiscal transparency during the review period and includes specific recommendations of short- and long-term steps such governments should take to improve fiscal transparency.  For those governments determined to have made significant progress toward meeting the minimum requirements, the section also includes a brief description of such progress.

Algeria:  During the review period, the government published its enacted budget online, but did not publish an executive budget proposal or an end-of-year report within a reasonable period of time.  Limited information regarding debt obligations was publicly available.  Publicly available information did not provide a comprehensive treatment of allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises.  The government maintained off-budget accounts, and though they were subject to public audits, government efforts to reduce the number of off-budget accounts appeared to have slowed.  The information in the budget was generally reliable, and the government published budget execution reports.  Algeria’s supreme audit institution audited the government’s executed budget, with the exception of certain military equipment purchases, and published its reports online within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awarded natural resource contracts or licenses were specified in law and appeared to be followed in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Algeria’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing its executive budget proposal and end-of-year reports within a reasonable period of time and
  • providing additional detail regarding debt obligations, revenues, and expenditures in the budget, including those of state-owned enterprises.

Angola:  During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal, its enacted budget, and its end-of-year report widely and easily accessible online to the general public within a reasonable period of time.  Publicly available information on debt obligations was outdated.  The information in the budget was considered generally reliable, though there were concerns about the accuracy of information about expenditures.  Angola’s supreme audit institution did not publish audit reports on the government’s accounts.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and appeared to be followed in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Angola’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • providing timely information on debt obligations and
  • ensuring the supreme audit institution audits the government’s annual executed budget and publishes its findings within a reasonable period of time.

Azerbaijan:  During the review period, budget documents and debt obligations were publicly available, including online, and provided a substantially complete picture of the government’s revenues, including natural resource revenues.  While budget documents did not fully disaggregate allocations to or earnings from state-owned enterprises, more detailed information was available through other public documents.  Audited financial statements for significant, large state-owned enterprises were publicly available online.  Information in budget documents was generally reliable.  Azerbaijan’s supreme audit institution audited the government’s annual executed budget, and its reports and opinions on state budget execution were publicly available within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction—particularly for oil production sharing agreements—were only partially specified in law, regulation, or public documents.  It is not clear to what extent the government followed applicable laws and regulations for awarding contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction.  Basic information on such awards was made publicly available after contracts were awarded.

Azerbaijan’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • specifying fully in law or regulation the criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and following applicable laws and regulations in practice.

The Bahamas:  During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal, enacted budget and end-of-year report widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  Budget documents provided a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams.  Information in budget documents was generally considered reliable.  The Bahamas’ supreme audit institution did not publish an audit report of the government’s executed budget within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were outlined in law and appeared to be followed in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was public.

The Bahamas’ fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • ensuring the supreme audit institution audits the government’s executed budget and makes audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.

Bahrain:  Bahrain made significant progress by publishing a mid-year budgetary progress report for the first time.  During the review period, the government published its enacted budget and mid-year budget execution report within a reasonable period of time.  Its executive budget proposal, however, was published six months into its two-year budget cycle.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  Publicly available budget documents provided only limited detail on allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises and partial details on ministry and agency budgets.  Royal court expenditures were not included in the budget.  Budget documents were generally reliable.  Bahrain’s supreme audit institution audited the government’s executed budget, but only published portions of its audit report in local newspapers.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were outlined in law and regulation and appeared to be followed in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Bahrain’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing its executive budget proposal within a reasonable period of time,
  • providing more detail in the budget on expenditures by ministries, allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises, and royal court expenditures, and
  • making the supreme audit institution’s audit reports available in full and easily accessible to the public.

Bangladesh:  During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal and a summary enacted budget widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online.  While, the Ministry of Finance has not updated its website with year-end budget execution  reports since fiscal year 2014-2015, monthly budget execution reports are regularly published online. Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  Budget documents provided a reasonably complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, including natural resource revenues.  While the government included details in budget documents about allocations to and earnings from state-owned companies during the review period, concerns have been raised about off-budget financing of some of these companies.  State-owned companies did not consistently have publicly available audited financial statements. . Information in the budget was considered generally reliable, although budget documents were not prepared according to internationally accepted standards.  Bangladesh’s supreme audit institution reviewed the government’s accounts, but its reports were not made publicly available within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law, regulation, and other public documents.  The government appeared to follow applicable laws and regulations in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was not consistently made publicly available.

Bangladesh’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • ensuring state-owned enterprises have publicly available audited financial statements,
  • eliminating off-budget accounts or subjecting them to publicly available audits,
  • preparing budget documents according to internationally accepted principles,
  • making audit reports by the supreme audit institution publicly available within a reasonable period of time, and
  • making basic information about natural resource extraction awards publicly and consistently available.

Belize:  During the review period, the government made its enacted budget, end-of-year report, and information on debt obligations widely accessible to the general public, including online.  It did not publish an executive budget proposal within a reasonable period of time.  Publicly available budget documents provided a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, including natural resource revenues.  Budget information was generally reliable.  Belize’s supreme audit institution did not publish audit reports within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and generally appeared to be followed in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Belize’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing its executive budget proposal within a reasonable period of time and
  • ensuring the supreme audit institution audits the government’s executed budget and makes audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.

Benin:   While Benin made significant progress auditing state-owned enterprises and making the results available online, budget documents did not detail allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises, and information on state-owned enterprise debt guaranteed by the government was unavailable.  During the review period, the government made budget documents widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  Budget documents did not detail allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises.  The supreme audit institution audited the entire executed budget and made the results available online.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and appeared to be followed in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Benin’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • providing comprehensive accounting of allocations to and earnings from all state-owned enterprises and
  • making information on state-owned enterprise debt guaranteed by the government publicly available.

Burma:  During the review period, the government published its executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report online within a reasonable period of time.  Information on debt obligations was available online, but it was out of date.  Budget documents were not complete and did not capture allocations to and earnings from military-owned enterprises falling under the Ministry of Defense.  The government lacked capacity to conduct a comprehensive audit of all state-owned enterprises.  It is unclear to what extent there was civilian oversight of military and intelligence budgets.  Burma’s supreme audit institution lacked independence and did not issue publicly available audit reports of the government’s financial accounts.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were not sufficiently outlined in law or regulation.  Information on natural resource extraction awards in the mineral, jade, and gemstone industries was not always publicly available.  The government suspended licensing for mining concessions to conduct a review of the relevant legal and regulatory framework to improve the transparency and implementation of laws guiding natural resource extraction.

Burma’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing substantially complete budget documents including allocations to and earnings from military-owned enterprises,
  • making state-owned enterprise audited financial statements publicly available,
  • establishing an independent supreme audit institution,
  • making supreme audit institution reports publicly available,
  • establishing greater civilian oversight over military and intelligence budgets, and
  • specifying in law or regulation the criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses, adhering to these laws and regulations in practice, and publishing basic information on all such awards.

Burundi:  During the review period, the government made its enacted budget publicly available online.  It did not make an executive budget proposal or end-of-year report publicly available.  Information on debt obligations was not always current.  Publicly available budget documents did not provide a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams.  Natural resource revenues were not included in the budget.  The government appeared to maintain off-budget accounts not subject to adequate audit or oversight.  Though information in the budget was not always complete, it was considered generally reliable.  Burundi’s supreme audit institution did not publish an audit report within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awarded contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were outlined in law and regulation but inconsistently followed in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available upon request from the Ministry of Water, Energy, and Mines.

Burundi’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing an executive budget proposal and end-of-year report within a reasonable period of time,
  • providing timely information on debt obligations,
  • ensuring all revenues and expenditures are reflected in the budget,
  • eliminating off-budget accounts or subjecting them to adequate audit and oversight,
  • ensuring the supreme audit institution audits the government’s executed budget and makes audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.
  • consistently adhering to applicable laws and regulations for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses, and
  • facilitating better access to basic information about natural resource extraction awards.

Cambodia:  During the review period, the government made its enacted budget available online.  Its executive budget proposal was published late, however, and it did not produce an end-of-year report.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  The budget documents provided a substantially complete picture of the government’s expenditures and revenue streams, including natural resource revenues.  Significant deviations between projected and actual revenues during the review period, however, undercut the reliability of budget information.  Its supreme audit institution did not publish an audit report on the government’s executed budget.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were not specified in law, regulation, or other public documents.  The government instead relied on ad hoc negotiations to award contracts and licenses.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was not publicly available.

Cambodia’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing its executive budget proposal and end-of-year report within a reasonable period of time,
  • producing and publishing a supplemental budget when actual revenues and expenditures do not correspond to those in the enacted budget,
  • auditing the government’s executed budget and making a report publicly available within a reasonable period of time,
  • specifying in law or regulation the procedures and criteria by which the government awards natural resource extraction contracts or licenses,
  • following such laws or regulations in practice, and
  • making basic information on natural resource extraction awards publicly available.

Cameroon:  During the review period, budget documents were widely and easily accessible to the public online.  Information in budget documents, however, was incomplete.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available and updated quarterly.  Allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises were not identified in budget documents, and few state-owned enterprises produced financial statements.  Information on government-guaranteed state-owned enterprise debt was also not available.  The government maintained off-budget accounts not subject to adequate audit or oversight, and there were similar concerns regarding the budget for military and intelligence services.  The information in the budget was considered generally reliable.  Cameroon’s supreme audit institution did not audit the government’s executed budget and its reports were not publicly available.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law, regulation, or other public documents.  The government appeared to follow applicable laws and regulations in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Cameroon’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • including allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in its budget,
  • making audited financial statements for state-owned enterprises publicly available,
  • eliminating off-budget accounts or subjecting them to adequate audit and oversight,
  • subjecting military and intelligence budget to civilian oversight, and
  • auditing the government’s executed budget and making its reports publicly available.

Central African Republic:  During the review period, the government made its enacted budget, quarterly reports, and end-of-year report publicly available online.  It did not publish an executive budget proposal.  Limited information on debt obligations was publicly available.  Publicly available budget documents provided a fairly complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, with the exception of allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises.    The Central African Republic’s supreme audit institution did not audit the government’s executed budget and was not authorized to publish reports.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law, but were not consistently followed in practice.

The Central African Republic’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing an executive budget proposal,
  • providing more detail on allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in budget documents,
  • having the supreme audit institution audit the government’s executed budget and publish its audit reports within a reasonable period of time,
  • consistently following laws for awarding natural resource extraction contracts in practice, and
  • ensuring the accuracy and completeness of information on natural resource awards publicly available.

Chad:  During the review period, the government made available online its executive budget proposal and enacted budget.  It did not publish a detailed report on budget execution and government spending.  The budget documents did not include all revenues and expenditures.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  Significant, large state-owned enterprises did not have publicly available audited financial statements.  The government maintained some off-budget accounts not subject to audit or oversight.  Chad’s supreme audit institution did not produce public reports.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and regulation, but the government did not always appear to follow applicable laws and regulations in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Chad’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing online a detailed end-of-year report specifying spending by ministry within a reasonable period of time,
  • including all revenues and expenditures in the budget,
  • eliminating off-budget accounts or subjecting them to adequate audit and oversight,
  • publishing audited financial statements for significant, large state-owned enterprises,
  • making supreme audit institution reports publicly available, and
  • adhering to the criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses as set out in applicable laws and regulations.

People’s Republic of China (PRC):  During the review period, the government made its enacted budget and end-of-year report accessible to the general public, including online, but it did not publish an executive budget proposal before enactment of the budget.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available but not always complete or up to date.  The PRC does not publish reliable figures for foreign assistance and international commercial and concessional lending.  Budget documents did not identify financial allocations to or earnings from state-owned enterprises, and not all significant, large state-owned enterprises controlled by the central government had publicly available audited financial statements.  The PRC’s supreme audit institution reviewed the government’s accounts and made audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and regulation.  The government generally appeared to follow applicable laws and regulations in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

The PRC’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing executive budget proposals ahead of the budget’s enactment,
  • publishing timely and complete information on debt obligations,
  • detailing financial allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in the budget or other public documents, and
  • publishing audit reports for significant, large state-owned enterprises.

Comoros:  During the review period, the government made its enacted budget available.  It did not make its executive budget proposal available online or publish an end-of-year report.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  Budget documents provided a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams.  No budget execution reports were made available during the review period to compare budget projections to actual results.  Comoros’ supreme audit institution did not publish an audit report of the government’s executed budget within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law, but the government has not made any awards for natural resource extraction.

Comoros’ fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing the executive budget proposal online and producing an end-of-year report within a reasonable period of time,
  • producing a supplemental budget when estimated revenues and expenditures differ significantly from actual figures, and
  • ensuring the supreme audit institution audits the government’s executed budget and makes audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.

Congo, Democratic Republic of the:  During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal and enacted budget widely and easily accessible to the general public online, but not in a timely manner.  The government did not make its end-of-year report publicly available.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  Budget documents lacked detail on allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises, which did not have publicly audited financial statements.  The government maintained special accounts not subject to adequate oversight or audit.  There were concerns about the reliability of information regarding expenditures to support executive offices.  Civilian oversight over military and intelligence budgets appeared lacking.  Budget execution varied considerably from the enacted budget.  The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s supreme audit institution made its audit report publicly available within a reasonable period of time.  The process for awarding contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction was specified in law and appeared to be followed in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction contracts was publicly available.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing its end-of-year report within a reasonable period of time,
  • specifically identifying allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in the budget and making audited financial statements publicly available for significant, large state-owned enterprises,
  • making public more detail on audits of the government’s special accounts,
  • ensuring greater civilian oversight of military and intelligence budgets, and
  • improving the overall reliability of budget information, specifically for expenditures to support executive offices.

Congo, Republic of the:  During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal and its enacted budget widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online.  It did not make its end-of-year report publicly available.  Information on debt obligations was not publicly available.  Budget documents did not provide a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams.  The government maintained off-budget accounts not subject to audit or oversight.  Publicly available budget documents did not include allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises.  Because of a lack of budget execution reports, budget reliability could not be assessed.  Congo’s supreme audit institution lacked independence and did not make audit reports available for review.  Congolese law outlined the criteria and procedures for the awarding of contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction, but the government applied the law inconsistently.  The government made basic information on natural resource extraction publicly available.

The Republic of Congo’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing its end-of-year report online,
  • making timely information on government debt obligations available,
  • providing a more comprehensive accounting of off-budget accounts and subjecting such accounts to audit and oversight,
  • detailing allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in budget documents,
  • enhancing the completeness and reliability of budget reporting and information on debt obligations,
  • publishing audit reports of the government’s executed budget, and
  • ensuring it follows applicable laws and regulations in awarding contracts and licenses for natural resource extraction.

Djibouti:  During the review period, the government published summaries of most budget documents online but did not make complete budget documents easily accessible to the public within a reasonable period of time.  Limited information on debt obligations was publicly available online.  Public budget documents did not provide a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams.  While expenditures to and revenues from state-owned enterprises were included in public budget documents, the figures were outdated.  Significant, large state-owned enterprises did not have publicly available audited financial statements.  Some ministries maintained off-budget accounts not subject to audit.  Djibouti’s supreme audit institution published an audit report within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in new laws and regulations.  The government has not yet awarded any natural resource contracts since the new laws and regulations were implemented.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available through reporting of state-owned media, but not archived or retrievable in a systematic way.

Djibouti’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing detailed version of its executive budget proposal and enacted budget within a reasonable period of time,
  • publishing current information on debt obligations,
  • eliminating off-budget accounts or subjecting them to adequate audit and oversight, and
  • including allocations and earnings from state-owned enterprises in its budget documents.

Dominican Republic:  During the review period, the government’s budget and information on debt obligations were widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online.  The end-of-year report, however, was incomplete.  The enacted budget was substantially complete and considered generally reliable. Significant, large state-owned enterprises, notably electricity distribution and transmission company Corporación Dominicana de Empresas Eléctricas Estatales, did not have publicly available audited financial statements.  The Dominican Republic’s supreme audit institution reviewed the government’s accounts; however, its FY 2018 report was not publicly available.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards licenses and contracts for natural resource extraction were outlined in law and appeared to be followed in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was public.

The Dominican Republic’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing a complete end-of-year report,
  • making audited financial statements of significant, large state-owned enterprise publicly available, and
  • making the FY 2018 report by the supreme audit institution publicly available.

Ecuador:  Ecuador made significant progress by making basic information on natural resource extraction license and contract awards publicly available.  During the review period, budget documents were publicly available online, although complete information on debt obligations, including oil-for-loan agreements, was not publicly available.  Budget documents were substantially complete and generally reliable,  but the Ministry of Economy and Finance has broad discretion to modify income and expense levels established in the national budget by up to 15 percent without National Assembly approval.  Budget documents did not include allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises.  Ecuador’s supreme audit institution audited the government’s annual financial statements, and the government made its reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.  The process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts was outlined in law and appeared to be followed in practice.  Basic information on awards was publicly available.

Ecuador’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing timely information on debt obligations,
  • including allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in budget documents, and
  • improving the reliability of budget documents.

Egypt:  During the review period, the government made its budget documents widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online.  Information on government debt obligations was publicly available online, but up-to-date and clear information on state-owned enterprise debt guaranteed by the government was not available.  Budget documents did not include allocations to military state-owned enterprises, nor were allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises.  Audit reports for significant, large state-owned enterprises were not made public.  It was not clear from publicly available budget documents whether expenditures to support executive offices represented a significant outlay.  The information in the budget was generally considered reliable, but incomplete.  Audit reports from Egypt’s supreme audit institution were not public.  Egypt’s supreme audit institution lacked independence.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards natural resource contracts or licenses were specified in law and regulation and appeared to be broadly followed in practice.  The government has not consistently made public basic information on natural resource extraction awards.

Egypt’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • making information on state-owned enterprise debt guaranteed by the government publicly available,
  • including all revenues and expenditures, including those for remaining off-budget accounts, executive offices, and allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises, in its budget documents,
  • ensuring an independent supreme audit institution, one that carries out audits of the government’s executed budget and makes its reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time, and
  • consistently making basic information on natural resource extraction awards publicly available.

Equatorial Guinea:  During the review period, the government published its enacted budget within a reasonable period of time, but not its executive budget proposal or its end-of-year report.  Budget documents were not available online.  Only limited information on debt obligations was  publicly available.  Though not easily accessible, budget documents provided a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, including natural resource revenues.  Significant, large state-owned enterprises lacked publicly available audited financial statements.  Budget documents were not prepared using internationally accepted accounting principles.  Equatorial Guinea did not have an operating supreme audit institution.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law, regulation, or other public documents.  The government appeared to follow these laws or regulations in practice, but the government’s attempts to renegotiate awarded contracts created concern as to the government’s commitment to following such laws.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Equatorial Guinea’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • making budget documents and information on debt obligations widely and easily accessible to the general public,
  • publishing audited financial statements for significant, large state-owned enterprises,
  • adopting internationally accepted accounting principles, and
  • creating a supreme audit institution to conduct audits of the government’s executed budget and make its reports publicly available.

Eswatini:  During the review period, budget documents were available to the general public.  The executive budget proposal and the end-of-year report were not available online within a reasonable amount of time.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available online.  While budget documents provided a general picture of government revenues and expenditures, expenditures for royal emoluments were not broken down.  Information in the budget was considered generally reliable.  Eswatini’s supreme audit institution published an audit report within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts were outlined in law, but the opacity of the procedures, which involve submitting applications for licenses directly to the king, cast doubt on whether the government actually followed the law in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was not always publicly available.

Eswatini’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing the executive budget proposal and end-of-year report online within a reasonable period of time,
  • providing expenditure information for royal emoluments broken down by type in budget documents,
  • demonstrating applicable laws are followed in practice for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses, and
  • making basic information on natural resource extraction awards publicly available.

Ethiopia:  During the review period, the government made its enacted budget available to the general public online.  The executive budget proposal, however, was not published, quarterly budget execution reports were not publicly available, and its end-of-year report was not published within a reasonable period of time.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  Budget documents lacked detail on state-owned enterprises, particularly those implementing major infrastructure projects.  Not all large state-owned enterprises had publicly available audited financial statements.  The government continued the process of partially or wholly privatizing significant state-owned enterprises in sectors such as aviation, telecom, logistics, railways, power, and industrial parks.  The liberalization and privatization processes should result in more transparency to the financial accounts of state-owned enterprises.  Assessing the reliability of budget information is complicated by the lack of up-to-date quarterly and end-of-year execution reports.  Ethiopia’s supreme audit institution audited the government’s annual financial statements and published its reports within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and regulation.  The government generally appeared to follow applicable laws and regulations in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was not always publicly available.

Ethiopia’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing its executive budget proposal and end-of-year report within a reasonable period of time,
  • providing more detail on allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in the budget,
  • making audit reports for significant, large state-owned enterprises publicly available, and
  • making basic information about natural resource extraction awards publicly available.

Gabon:  During the review period, the government published its enacted budget and end-of-year report online.  It did not publish an executive budget proposal.  Only very general information on debt obligations was publicly available.  Publicly available budget documents did not provide a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams.  Budget documents lacked detail on expenditures by individual ministries, as well as information on off-budget accounts and transfers between the government and state-owned enterprises.  The information in the budget was not considered reliable, particularly given the lack of public budget documents.  Gabon’s supreme audit institution reviewed the government’s accounts but did not make its reports publicly available.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were only partially specified in law, regulation, or other public documents.  The government did not consistently follow applicable laws and regulations in practice, particularly for mining concessions.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was generally not publicly available.

Gabon’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • making substantially complete and reliable budget documents publicly available,
  • making timely information on debt obligations publicly available,
  • making audit reports of the government’s annual financial statements publicly available within a reasonable period of time,
  • clarifying in law or regulation the process by which the government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction, and following such laws and regulations in practice, and
  • making basic information for natural resource extraction awards publicly available.

Gambia, The:  During the review period, The Gambia made significant progress by publishing its enacted budget and end-of-year report online and improving the completeness of budget documents.  Its executive budget proposal was not published.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available and updated at least annually.  Budget documents were substantially complete.  The Gambia’s supreme audit institution was responsible for auditing the government’s annual executed budget, but it did not publish audit reports within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and followed in practice.  Basic information about natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

The Gambia’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing its executive budget proposal online within a reasonable period of time, and
  • ensuring the supreme audit institution publishes audit reports within a reasonable period of time.

Guinea:  During the review period, the government published its enacted budget online.  It did not publish an executive budget proposal or an end-of-year report within a reasonable period of time.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  The enacted budget did not present a complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams and did not include allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises.  Significant, large state-owned enterprises lacked publicly available audited financial statements.  Budget documents were considered generally reliable.  Guinea’s supreme audit institution did not publish reports on the government’s executed budget within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law but appeared to be applied inconsistently in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Guinea’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing an executive budget proposal and an end-of-year report within a reasonable period of time,
  • including allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in budget documents,
  • ensuring significant, large state-owned enterprises have publicly available audited financial statements,
  • publishing audit reports of the government’s executed budget within a reasonable period of time, and
  • applying laws on contracting and licensing for natural resource extraction consistently.

Guinea-Bissau:  During the review period, the government did not make budget documents or information on debt obligations widely and easily accessible to the general public.  Available budget information did not include allocations to or earnings from state-owned enterprises, and the government maintained an off-budget account for the promotion of agricultural products that has not been subject to adequate oversight.  The reliability of the budget was undercut by the lack of timely and complete budget documents.  Guinea-Bissau’s supreme audit institution did not audit the executed budget.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law, but the government did not appear to follow the law in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was not publicly available.

Guinea-Bissau’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • making budget documents and information on debt obligations widely and easily accessible to the general public,
  • including allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in the budget,
  • subjecting off-budget accounts to adequate audit and oversight,
  • improving the reliability of budget documents by producing and publishing a supplemental budget when actual revenues and expenditures do not correspond to those in the enacted budget,
  • having the supreme audit institution audit the government’s budget and make its reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time,
  • consistently adhering to laws and regulations for contracting and licensing in natural resource extraction, and
  • routinely publishing basic information on natural resource extraction awards.

Haiti:  As the government was in caretaker status for nine of the 12 months of the review period, there were no budget documents.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  In the past, publicly available budget documents did not provide a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, including natural resource revenues.  The budget did not provide sufficient detail for each ministry or agency and did not include allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises.  The government maintained off-budget accounts that were not subject to the same oversight and audit as other expenditures.  Its military budget was not subject to civilian oversight.  Haiti’s supreme audit institution partially reviewed the government’s accounts, but it did not make its report publicly available within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and decree.  The government did not appear to follow contracting laws and regulations in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was only sporadically publicly available.

Haiti’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing budget documents within a reasonable period of time,
  • publishing greater detail on revenue sources and types, as well as expenditures by ministry,
  • providing more detail on allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises,
  • subjecting its military budget to civilian oversight,
  • ensuring adequate audit and oversight for off-budget accounts,
  • improving the reliability of budget documents by producing and publishing a supplemental budget when actual revenues and expenditures do not correspond to those in the enacted budget,
  • ensuring the supreme audit institution audits the government’s accounts and publishes the resulting audit reports,
  • consistently adhering to laws and regulations for contracting and licensing in natural resource extraction, and
  • routinely publishing basic information on natural resource extraction awards.

Iraq:  During the review period, the government made its enacted budget and end-of-year report available online, but it did not publish its executive budget proposal.  Only limited details regarding debt obligations were publicly available.  Available budget documents provided limited details regarding allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises.  The government maintained off-budget accounts subject to limited oversight.  Actual revenues and expenditures did not correspond to those in the enacted budget, and the government did not revise its budget estimates or pass a supplemental budget.  Iraq’s supreme audit institution audited the government’s executed budget.  The supreme audit institution, however, has not published audits of budgets since fiscal year 2013, and the audits lack substantive findings and recommendations.  The national government awarded natural resource extraction contracts or licenses as guided by Article 111 of the Iraqi Constitution.  In the absence of implementing laws and regulations, the criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses were unclear.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Iraq’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing its executive budget proposal and detailed information on debt obligations,
  • ensuring budget documents include substantially complete information on allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises,
  • subjecting off-budget accounts to oversight and audits,
  • revising budget estimates and passing supplemental budgets when actual revenues and expenditures differ significantly from the enacted budget,
  • producing and publishing within a reasonable period of time audit reports of the government’s executed budget including substantive findings and narratives,
  • specifying more concretely in law or regulation the process for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses, and
  • following those laws and regulations in practice.

Laos:  During the review period, the government did not make its executive budget proposal publicly available.  It did publish its enacted budget online, though not within a reasonable period of time, and published an end-of-year report, but not online.  Information on debt obligations was not publicly available.  The completeness and reliability of budget information could not be properly evaluated due to the lack of publicly available documents.  Publicly available budget documents were not prepared according to internationally accepted standards.  Laos’ supreme audit institution reviewed only a portion of the government’s accounts and did not make its reports publicly available.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law, regulation, or other public documents.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.  A moratorium on natural resource extraction awards has been in effect since 2012.

Laos’ fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • making substantially complete and reliable budget documents publicly available online,
  • prepare budget documents according to internationally accepted standards, and
  • ensuring the supreme audit institution audits the government’s executed budget and making its reports public within a reasonable period of time.

Lebanon:  During the review period, the government published its enacted budget online but did not publish an executive budget proposal or an end-of-year report.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available online.  Information on government-guaranteed state-owned enterprise debt was not available.  The budget documents did not present a full picture of Lebanon’s expenditures and revenue streams.  Details regarding allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises were limited.  Military and intelligence budgets were not publicly available and were subject to limited oversight by an inspector general and the President’s High Defense Council.  The information in the budget was not considered reliable nor reasonably accurate and did not correspond to actual revenues and expenditures.  Lebanon’s supreme audit institution did not make its audit reports publicly available.  Lebanon does not yet derive revenues from natural resources, but the criteria and procedures by which the national government awards natural resource contracts or licenses were specified in law.

Lebanon’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing in a timely fashion an executive budget proposal and end-of-year report,
  • making information on government-guaranteed state-owned enterprise debt publicly available,
  • ensuring budget documents are substantially complete,
  • detailing allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises,
  • enhancing the reliability of budget documents and publishing supplemental budgets when actual expenditures and revenues differ significantly from estimated figures, and
  • making supreme audit institution reports publicly available.

Lesotho:  During the review period, the government made its enacted budget publicly available online within a reasonable amount of time, but not its executive budget proposal nor end-of-year report.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available, but out of date.  Budget documents provided a mostly complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, including natural resource revenues, but information regarding off-budget accounts was not publicly available.  Lesotho’s supreme audit institution reviewed the government’s accounts but did not make its reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law, regulation, or other public documents.  The government appeared to follow applicable laws and regulations in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Lesotho’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • timely publishing its executive budget proposal and end-of-year report online,
  • making timely information on debt obligations publicly available,
  • ensuring off-budget accounts are subject to adequate audit and oversight, and
  • ensuring the supreme audit institution  publishes its reports within a reasonable period of time.

Liberia:  During the review period, budget documents and information on debt obligations were widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online.  Budget documents, however, were not substantially complete.  Significant deviations between projected and actual revenues during the review period, however, undercut the reliability of budget information.  Liberia’s supreme audit institution did not make its audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts were outlined in law, although there have been reports of corruption and inconsistent application of regulations in practice.  Basic information on some, but not all, natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Liberia’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • ensuring the budget is substantially complete and off-budget accounts are subject to adequate audit and oversight,
  • producing and publishing a supplemental budget when actual revenues and expenditures do not correspond to those in the enacted budget,
  • making supreme audit institution audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time,
  • ensuring the criteria and procedures used to award natural resource extraction contracts and licenses are consistent with the requirements set by law or regulation, and
  • making basic information on all natural resource extraction awards publicly available.

Libya:  Internal political conflict has prevented the Libyan government from fully implementing its budget processes, which has adversely affected fiscal transparency.  An end-of-year budget report was available online.  Only limited information on debt obligations was publicly available.  Publicly available budget documents were not substantially complete and lacked sufficient detail.  Audit reports for large state-owned enterprises, such as the National Oil Corporation, were not publicly available.  Information regarding expenditures to support executive offices was not public.  Military and intelligence budgets were subject to limited civilian oversight.  Libya does not yet fully use internationally accepted accounting principles.  Libya’s supreme audit institution audited the government’s accounts but did not make a public report available within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures for awarding contracts and licenses for natural resource extraction were outlined in law or regulation and generally appear to have been followed in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was public.

Libya’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing complete and reliable budget documents in a reasonable period of time,
  • including in its budget documents information on debt obligations, significant state-owned enterprises, and expenditures to support executive offices,
  • subjecting military and intelligence budgets to further civilian oversight,
  • fully adopting internationally accepted accounting principles, and
  • making supreme audit institution reports of the government’s executed budget publicly available within a reasonable period of time.

Madagascar:  Madagascar made significant progress by publishing its executive budget proposal within a reasonable period of time.  During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  Budget documents did not provide a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams.   Information regarding revenues from natural resources and allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises was lacking.  The information in the budget, though incomplete, was considered reliable.  Madagascar’s supreme audit institution reviewed the government’s budget execution and made its reports publicly available, but not within a reasonable period of time.  The government did not award any natural resource extraction licenses or contracts during the reporting period, but basic information on existing natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Madagascar’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • providing greater detail in the budget on revenues from natural resources and allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises, and
  • publishing reports by its supreme audit institution within a reasonable period of time.

Malawi:  During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end of year reports publicly available online within a reasonable period of time.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  Publicly available budget documents provided a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, including natural resource revenues.  The information in the budget was generally considered reliable, and the supreme audit institution’s audit of the government’s annual financial accounts was published within a reasonable period of time.  While the criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and regulation, the government did not appear to follow applicable laws in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Malawi’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • adhering to the process for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses as set out in law.

Maldives:  Maldives made significant progress by publishing an audit report of the government’s executed budget and publishing information on debt information.  During the review period, the government made budget documents widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online.  The government did not produce an end-of-year budget report, but did produce an execution report for the first six months of fiscal year 2019.  Information was available for foreign and domestic debt obligations, including government-guaranteed debt of state-owned enterprises.  Budget documents provided a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, and budget documents were considered generally reliable.  Maldives’ supreme audit institution audited the government’s executed budget and made its report publicly available.  Maldives did not have a natural resource extraction sector.

Maldives’ fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing an end-of-year report.

Mali:  Mali made significant progress by publishing its enacted budget and end-of-year report within a reasonable period of time.  During the review period, the government also made its executive budget proposal available online within a reasonable period of time.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  Publicly available budget documents provided a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, including natural resource revenues.  The government maintained some off-budget accounts not subject to adequate audit or oversight.  Information regarding allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises was lacking.  Significant, large state-owned enterprises did not have publicly available audited financial statements.  The information in the budget was considered broadly reliable, and significant deviations from projections were described in publicly available revised estimates.  Mali has multiple audit institutions and has yet to amend its constitution to create a cour des comptes to serve as a single supreme audit institution, as required by the West African Economic and Monetary Union.  Its audit institutions did review the government’s accounts and made reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law.  The government appeared to follow applicable laws in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Mali’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • subjecting off-budget accounts to regular audit and oversight,
  • detailing allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in budget documents,
  • ensuring significant, large state-owned enterprises have publicly available audited financial statements, and
  • amending its constitution to create a single supreme audit institution.

Mauritania:  Mauritania made significant progress by publishing audit reports covering fiscal years 2007 through 2017.  During the review period, the government made budget documents widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  Budget documents provided a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, including natural resource revenues.  The information in budget documents was generally reliable.  The government maintained some off-budget accounts not subject to adequate audit or oversight.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and regulation, but there have been reports of inconsistent application.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Mauritania’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • subjecting off-budget accounts to adequate audit and oversight, and
  • ensuring the criteria and procedures used to award natural resource extraction contracts and licenses are consistent with the procedural requirements set by law or regulation.

Mozambique:  During the review period, the government made budget documents publicly available online, but basic information for debt obligations was unavailable.  Publicly available budget documents provided an incomplete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, especially with regard to natural resource revenues and allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises, which generally did not have publicly available audited financial statements.  The government maintained off-budget accounts not subject to adequate audit or oversight.  For portions of the budget that were relatively complete, the provided information was generally considered reliable.  Mozambique’s supreme audit institution reviewed the government’s accounts and its reports were published within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law, regulation, or other public documents.  The government has generally appeared to follow applicable laws and regulations in practice.  The government published basic information on natural resource extraction awards.

Mozambique’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • making more information on debt obligations and utilization of borrowed funds publicly available,
  • ensuring budget documents include more detailed information on natural resource revenues and allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises,
  • making audited financial statements for significant, large state-owned enterprises publicly available, and
  • eliminating off-budget accounts or subjecting them to adequate audit and oversight.

Nicaragua:  During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report accessible to the general public, including online.  Publicly available budget documents, however, did not provide a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams.  Some information on debt obligations was publicly available, but information on contingent debt and government guaranteed state-owned enterprise debt was unavailable.  Budget documents were not prepared according to internationally accepted principles.  Significant, large state-owned enterprises did not have publicly available audited financial statements.  The government has not publicly accounted for the expenditure of significant off-budget assistance from Venezuela, and this assistance has not been subject to audit or legislative oversight.  Allocations to and earnings from some state-owned enterprises were included in the budget on a net basis, but most state-owned enterprises, including ALBANISA, a joint venture of the Nicaraguan and Venezuelan state oil companies, have not been subject to audit.  Nicaragua’s supreme audit institution did not audit the government’s executed budget.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were outlined in law, though it is unclear whether the process used in practice to make awards has been consistent with the law.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Nicaragua’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • including all off-budget revenues, expenditures, and debt obligations in the budget,
  • detailing allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises,
  • preparing budget documents according to internationally accepted principles,
  • making full audit reports for significant, large state-owned enterprises publicly available,
  • conducting a full audit of the government’s executed budget and
  • making audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.

Niger:  Niger made significant progress by publishing revised budgets which are comparable year over year in accordance with West African Economic and Monetary Union budgeting standards.  During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report accessible to the general public, including online.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  Budget documents provided an incomplete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, with insufficient detail on allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises.  Budget documents were generally reliable, and the government published revised budgets when revenues and expenditures deviated from initial projections.  Niger’s supreme audit institution audited the government’s executed budget and made its audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and regulation, but the government does not appear to have consistently followed applicable laws and regulations in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Niger’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • ensuring budget documents include detailed information on allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises, and
  • following applicable laws and procedures in practice for awarding contracts and licenses for natural resource extraction.

Nigeria:  Nigeria made significant progress by including allocations to and earnings from its state-owned enterprises in its budget documents.  During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report accessible to the general public, including online.  Its executive budget proposal, however, was not published within a reasonable period of time.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  Budget documents provided detailed estimates for revenues and expenditures but provided only high-level earnings and expenditures estimates from state-owned enterprises.  The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation did not make fully audited financial reports available to the public.  Actual revenues and expenditures varied significantly from estimated figures making budget documents unreliable.  Nigeria’s supreme audit institution completed audits of the government’s budget and reportedly made audit reports on its website.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and regulation.  The government has appeared to follow applicable laws and regulations in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Nigeria’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing its executive budget proposal within a reasonable period of time,
  • improving the reliability of budget documents by producing and publishing a supplemental budget when actual revenues and expenditures do not correspond to those in the enacted budget, and
  • making full audit reports for significant, large state-owned enterprises publicly available.

Oman:  During the review period, the government made its enacted budget and end-of-year report widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online.  It did not publish an executive budget proposal.  Limited information on debt obligations was publicly available online.  Publicly available budget documents lacked sufficient detail and did not include allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises, or allocations to the royal family.  The government maintained off-budget accounts not subject to audit or oversight.  Military and intelligence budgets were not subject to civilian oversight.  Oman’s supreme audit institution did not audit the government’s executed budget.  The process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts was outlined in law.  While the criteria for making natural resource extraction awards were not generally public, bidders have been informed about the criteria for awards through the bidding process.  Basic information on awards was publicly available.

Oman’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • making its executive budget proposal widely and easily accessible to the general public within a reasonable period of time,
  • adding more detail to the budget, including allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises and expenditures for the royal family,
  • subjecting military and intelligence budgets to civilian oversight,
  • subjecting off-budget accounts to audit and oversight and making information on such accounts publicly available,
  • having the supreme audit institution audit the government’s annual executed budget and make its reports public, and
  • making the criteria for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses publicly available.

Pakistan:  During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online.  The government published limited information on debt obligations.  The government did not adequately disclose all government and government-guaranteed debt obligations, including financing to state-owned enterprises for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Projects.  Publicly available budget documents provided a substantially complete picture of most of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, including natural resource revenues.  The budget of the intelligence agencies was not subject to adequate parliamentary or other civilian oversight.  The information in the budget was considered generally reliable and subject to audit by Pakistan’s supreme audit institution.  While audit reports are made publicly available within a reasonable period of time, the reports did not provide substantive findings, recommendations, or narratives on the completeness or correctness of government accounts.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law, regulation, and other public documents.  The government appeared to follow applicable laws and regulations in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Pakistan’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • making complete and timely information on government and government-guaranteed debt obligations publicly available,
  • subjecting the intelligence agencies’ budgets to parliamentary or other civilian oversight, and
  • including substantive findings and recommendations in the supreme audit institution’s audit report on the government’s annual financial statements.

Palestinian Authority:  During the review period, the Palestinian Authority operated with an emergency budget that was not published.  It published monthly budget execution reports.  Information on debt obligations was incomplete.  Budget execution reports provided a substantially full picture of the Palestinian Authority’s expenditures and revenue streams.  The information in the reports was considered reliable and reasonably accurate.  The Palestinian Authority’s supreme audit institution lacked independence, and its audit reports of the Palestinian Authority’s annual financial statements were not publicly available within a reasonable period of time.  The Palestinian Authority did not have a significant natural resource extraction sector.

The Palestinian Authority’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing its executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report in a timely manner,
  • providing complete and timely information on debt obligations,
  • ensuring the independence of the supreme audit institution, and
  • publishing supreme audit institution reports within a reasonable period of time.

Papua New Guinea:  During the review period, the government made budget documents and information on debt obligations publicly available.  The enacted budget and end-of-year report were published online, but the executive budget proposal was not.  Publicly available budget documents were incomplete and did not include royalties and levies from the oil and gas industry held in off-budget trust accounts, which lacked adequate oversight and audit.  The information in the budget was considered generally reliable.  Papua New Guinea’s supreme audit institution did not make its reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law.  In November 2019, the government began reviewing existing natural resource extraction contracts to ensure compliance with the law.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards in the mining sector was publicly available, but not in the oil and gas sector.

Papua New Guinea’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • establishing adequate audit and oversight for revenues from natural resources and spending from associated off-budget trust accounts,
  • ensuring the supreme audit institution publishes complete audit reports of the government’s financial statements within a reasonable period of time, and
  • publishing basic information regarding all natural resource extraction awards.

Rwanda:  During the review period, the government’s executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report were widely and easily accessible online to the general public within a reasonable period of time.  Information on public debt obligations and publicly guaranteed debt figures were publicly available, however, detailed information on specific state-owned enterprise debt guaranteed by the government was unavailable.  Allocations to and earnings from some significant state-owned enterprises were available in budget documents.  The government made available detailed information for some state-owned enterprises but did not make detailed information regarding all allocations easily accessible to the public.  Rwanda’s supreme audit institution reviewed the government’s accounts and made its reports publicly available.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were outlined in law and appeared to be followed in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was public.

Rwanda’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • making detailed information on state-owned enterprise debt guaranteed by the government publicly available and
  • making detailed information on allocations to and earnings from all significant state-owned enterprises publicly available.

Sao Tome and Principe:  During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online.  Information in the budget, however, was not considered reliable as actual revenue and expenditures differed significantly from projected figures, and no supplemental budgets were produced.  Budget documents were not prepared according to internationally accepted principles, and audit reports from Sao Tome and Principe’s supreme audit institution were not published within a reasonable period of time.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  While public budget documents provided a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, including natural resource revenues, they did not include earnings from or allocations to state-owned enterprises.  Military and intelligence budgets were not subject to civilian oversight.   The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and appeared to be followed in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Sao Tome and Principe’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • including allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in budget documents,
  • subjecting military and intelligence budgets to civilian oversight,
  • improving the reliability of budget estimates and producing supplemental budgets when actual revenues and expenditures differ greatly from projected figures,
  • preparing budget documents using internationally accepted principles, and
  • making audit reports widely and easily accessible to the public within a reasonable period of time.

Saudi Arabia:  During the review period, the government made some, but not all, budget documents publicly available online.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available online.  The limited data available in the government’s annual budget statement broke down expenditures by category, but not by ministry or agency.  Some significant, large state-owned enterprises did not have publicly available audited financial statements.  The annual budget statement did not show allocations to the royal family or Council of Ministers, and the government maintained off-budget accounts not subject to public oversight.  Deviations from planned expenditures and revenues were disclosed during the course of the year.  Any reports prepared by Saudi Arabia’s supreme audit institution were not publicly available.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and regulation.  The government generally appeared to follow applicable laws and regulations in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was not consistently made publicly available.

Saudi Arabia’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • making publicly available detailed and complete budget documents,
  • ensuring audit reports for significant, large state-owned enterprises are publicly available,
  • making audit reports of the government’s executed budget widely and easily accessible to the public within a reasonable period of time, and
  • making basic information on natural resource awards consistently available to the public.

Somalia:  Somalia made significant progress by publishing information on its debt obligations.  During the review period, the government published its enacted budget and end-of-year report online within a reasonable period of time.  It did not publish its executive budget proposal online until after the start of the fiscal year.  Information on external debt obligations was published on the Ministry of Finance’s website.  Budget documents were substantially complete.  Some ministries maintained off-budget accounts not subject to audit or oversight.  Actual revenues and expenditures deviated from projections, but the government issued a revised supplemental budget estimate passed by parliament and periodic budget execution reports, increasing the credibility of information in budget documents.  Somalia’s supreme audit institution  produced a publicly available review of the government’s accounts.  The supreme audit institution, however, lacks independence from the presidency and prime ministry.    The government passed new petroleum legislation in December 2019, but the law has not been fully implemented.  Awards prior to December 2019 were done on a case-by-case basis.

Somalia’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • making the executive budget proposal public when it is submitted to parliament,
  • eliminating off-budget accounts or subjecting them to adequate oversight and audit, ensuring the independence of the supreme audit institution,
  • fully implementing its petroleum law and awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses in a manner consistent with law or regulation, and
  • making basic information on all such awards publicly available.

South Sudan:  During the review period, the government did not publish its executive budget proposal, enacted budget nor end-of-year report within a reasonable period of time.  The enacted budget did include limited information on debt obligations, but this data is not considered accurate or comprehensive.  Allocations to and earnings from Nile Petroleum Corporation, South Sudan’s national oil company, were not described in budget documents, and no audited financial statements were publicly available.  The government maintained off-budget accounts for which civilian oversight and scrutiny have been limited.  Information in budget documents was not reliable.  Ministries, agencies, and departments have consistently overspent or underspent their budgets, and the government did not issue revised budget estimates.  South Sudan’s supreme audit institution has not published an audit report on the government’s accounts in several years due to capacity issues and lack of access to records and documentation from government entities, especially those associated with oil revenues and security sector expenditures.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were outlined in law but did not appear to be followed in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was not publicly available.

South Sudan’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing its executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report within a reasonable period of time,
  • publishing timely and complete information on debt obligations,
  • conducting financial audits of Nile Petroleum Corporation and making the results public,
  • eliminating off-budget accounts or subjecting them to adequate oversight and audit,
  • improving the reliability of budget documents by producing and publishing a supplemental budget when actual revenues and expenditures do not correspond to those in the enacted budget,
  • publishing audit reports of the government’s accounts,
  • ensuring the consistent application of applicable laws and regulations in awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses, and
  • making basic information on natural resource extraction awards publicly available.

Sudan:  During the review period, the government made budget documents and information on debt obligations available only upon request.  Budget documents were not substantially complete.  The budget did not include revenue from gold and oil extraction and did not adequately describe allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises.  Significant, large state-owned enterprises, including the Omdurman National Bank and the Seen Flour Company, did not have audited financial statements.  The government maintained off-budget accounts not subject to audit.  The extent to which military and intelligence budgets were subject to adequate civilian oversight was unclear.  Information in the budget was not reliable, and there were reports of significant underreporting of expenditures and revenues in the budget, including the military and intelligence budgets.  Sudan’s supreme audit institution did not make its reports public.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awarded contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were outlined in law but did not appear to be followed in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was not publicly available.  Sudan transitioned to an interim civilian-led government in August 2019 after a 30-year dictatorship, which has expressed its intention to be more fiscally transparent and accountable to the public and to international partners.

Sudan’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • making budget documents and debt information widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online,
  • including all expenditures and revenues in its budget,
  • eliminating off-budget accounts or subjecting them to adequate audit and oversight,
  • establishing greater civilian oversight over military and intelligence budgets,
  • producing and publishing a supplemental budget when actual revenues and expenditures do not correspond to those in the enacted budget,
  • auditing all significant, large state-owned enterprises and making such audit reports public,
  • ensuring the supreme audit institution audits the government’s executed budget and publishes its reports,
  • adhering to the process for awarding natural resources extraction contracts and licenses as set out in law, and
  • making information on natural resource extraction awards publicly available.

Suriname:  During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal and enacted budget easily accessible to the general public, including online.  Its end-of-year report was not, however, publicly available.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  Budget documents lacked sufficient detail on allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises.  Suriname’s sole significant, large state-owned enterprise had publicly available audit reports.  Suriname generally followed internationally accepted accounting principles, but it continued to treat loans as revenues.  Actual government revenues and expenditures deviated from the enacted budget, and the origin and level of accuracy of some information in the budget was unreliable.  Suriname’s supreme audit institution published a limited audit report based on a set of data provided by individual ministries.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and appeared to be followed in practice, with the exception of smaller gold mining concessions.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Suriname’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing an end-of-year budget report online,
  • detailing allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises,
  • producing and publishing a supplemental budget when actual revenues and expenditures do not correspond to those in the enacted budget,
  • preparing financial statements according to internationally accepted principles, and
  • ensuring applicable laws and regulations for contracting and licensing in natural resource extraction are followed in practice.

Tajikistan:  During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online.  Information on debt obligations was not available.  The budget documents did not provide a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures.  Budget documents lacked detail regarding expenditures for ministries and agencies and did not identify allocations to or earnings from state-owned enterprises.  The budget broke down revenue by source but did not identify natural resource revenues.  Significant, large state-owned enterprises did not have publicly available audited financial statements.  The government maintained significant off-budget accounts.  Military and intelligence budgets were not approved by the parliament nor subject to civilian oversight.  Only summary information of the supreme audit institution reports of the government’s accounts was publicly available.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards natural resource contracts or licenses were specified in law.  The government did not appear to follow these laws or regulations in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was not publicly available.

Tajikistan’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • producing substantially complete and sufficiently detailed budget documents,
  • publishing current information on debt obligations, including those of state-owned enterprises guaranteed by the government,
  • including allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in budget documents,
  • making audited financial statements of significant, large state-owned enterprises publicly available,
  • eliminating off-budget accounts or subjecting them to adequate oversight and audit
  • subjecting military and intelligence budgets to adequate oversight and audit,
  • making the supreme audit institution’s full reports publicly available,
  • following applicable laws and regulations in practice for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses, and
  • making basic information on natural resource extraction awards publicly available.

Tanzania:  During the review period, the government made its enacted budget and end-of-year report available online.  It did not publish a full executive budget proposal.  Some information on debt obligations was available online, but information on state-owned enterprise debt guaranteed by the government was not available.  Publicly available budget documents did not provide a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams.  Only limited information on allocations to and earnings from state owned enterprises and natural resource revenues was available.  The intelligence budget was not part of the public budget, and there were no procedures in place to permit parliamentary review of it.  Budget execution rates were low, and no supplementary budgets were produced.  Tanzania’s supreme audit institution reviewed the government’s accounts and made its reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and regulation.  The government appeared to follow applicable laws and regulations in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Tanzania’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • making its executive budget proposal widely and easily accessible to the general public,
  • including allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in budget documents,
  • subjecting intelligence budgets to greater civilian oversight and audit, and
  • producing revised or supplementary budgets as needed.

Turkmenistan:  During the review period, Turkmenistan published aggregate revenue data online in its state-run newspaper, but budget documents and information on debt obligations were not made public.  Publicly available budget information was not complete and did not include government revenues from natural resources.  Information on the government’s off-budget stabilization fund was not publicly available.  Given the lack of availability of budget documents, the budget’s reliability cannot be assessed.  Turkmenistan’s supreme audit institution lacked independence and did not make its reports publicly available despite purportedly reviewing the government’s financial statements.  The laws and regulations for allocating licenses and contracts for natural resource extraction did not fully detail the conditions and procedures for issuing licenses and contracts.  Therefore, it was unclear if the laws and regulations were followed in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was not always publicly available.

Turkmenistan’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • making budget documents publicly available within a reasonable period of time,
  • ensuring budget documents are substantially complete and reliable, ensuring the independence of the supreme audit institution,
  • making supreme audit institution reports publicly available,
  • fully outlining the criteria and procedures for allocating natural resource extraction licenses and contracts in law or regulation,
  • following applicable laws and regulations in practice, and
  • making basic information on natural resource extraction awards publicly available.

Ukraine:  Ukraine made significant progress by completing its adoption of international accounting standards.  During the review period, the government made its budget and information on debt obligations widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online.  Budget documents provided a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams.  Ukraine maintained off-budget accounts, including three social insurance funds, which have yet to be independently audited.  Ukraine’s supreme audit institution reviewed the government’s accounts and made its report publicly available within a reasonable period of time.  The process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts is specified in law and underwent some positive regulatory changes but continues to need full-scale statutory overhaul to root out persistent corruption.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Ukraine’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • completing an independent audit of its off-budget accounts, and
  • updating in law or regulation the criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and following applicable laws and regulations in practice.

Uzbekistan:  Uzbekistan made significant progress by providing a substantially complete picture of its planned expenditures and revenue streams in its budget documents.  During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online.  Information on debt obligations, including contingent and state-owned enterprise debt guaranteed by the government, was not publicly available.  Publicly available budget documents provided a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams.  Budget documents did not include detailed information on expenditures by ministry or information on allocations to or earnings from state-owned enterprises.  Detailed information on natural resource revenues and the government’s off-budget accounts was not publicly available.  The budget did not include information on expenditures to support executive offices.  It is not possible to assess the reliability of the budget due to the lack of publicly available information.  Uzbekistan’s supreme audit institution had a legal mandate to review the government’s annual budget execution, but its reports were not publicly available.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards natural resource extraction contracts or licenses were not specified in law, regulation, or other public documents, preventing review of whether the government followed applicable laws and regulations in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was not always publicly available.

Uzbekistan’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • making information on debt obligations publicly available,
  • including detailed information on expenditures by ministry as well as information on allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in budget documents,
  • ensuring budget documents are reliable,
  • producing and publishing audit reports of the government’s executed budget within a reasonable period of time,
  • fully outlining the criteria and procedures for allocating natural resource extraction licenses and contracts in law or regulation and following them in practice, and
  • making basic information about such awards publicly available.

Vietnam:  During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal and enacted budget accessible to the public, including online, but the government did not publish its end-of-year report within a reasonable period of time.  Information on debt obligations of state-owned enterprises was not publicly available.  Publicly available budget documents provided a fairly complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, including natural resource revenues, but the government maintained non-transparent off-budget accounts.  Budget information was considered generally reliable, although Vietnam is still in the process of adopting internationally accepted accounting standards.  Vietnam’s supreme audit institution reviewed the government’s accounts and made its report publicly available.  The procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and regulation.  The government appeared to follow these laws and regulations in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was not always publicly available.

Vietnam’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing its end-of-year budget report within a reasonable period of time,
  • publicizing information on state-owned enterprise debt obligations guaranteed by the government,
  • eliminating off-budget accounts or subjecting them to adequate audit and oversight,
  • fully adopting internationally accepted accounting standards, and
  • publicizing basic information on natural resource extraction awards.  .

Yemen:  Yemen made significant progress by passing a budget, which was publicly available, for the first time in five years.  During the review period, the Prime Minister prepared and the government passed a budget, but did not produce an executive budget proposal or end-of-year report or publish its enacted budget within a reasonable period of time.  The government published limited information on debt obligations.  Yemen’s supreme audit institution did not conduct an audit of the government’s executed budget.  The criteria and procedures by which the government awards natural resource contracts or licenses were specified in law only in terms of general principles, and there were reports of inconsistent application of relevant regulations.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Yemen’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • making budget documents available to the public within a reasonable period of time,
  • publishing substantially complete information on debt obligations,
  • ensuring budget documents are substantially complete and reliable,
  • producing and publishing audit reports of the government’s executed budget within a reasonable period of time,
  • clarifying laws and regulations for awarding contracts and licenses for natural resource extraction, and
  • ensuring such laws and regulations are followed in practice.

Zambia:  During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report accessible to the general public.  The end of year report, however, was not available online.  Some information on debt obligations was publicly available; but no information on government guaranteed state-owned enterprise debt was available.  Publicly available budget documents provided a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, including natural resource revenues.  The information in the budget was not always  reliable.  Zambia’s supreme audit institution reviewed the government’s accounts and made its report publicly available within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law, regulation, or other public documents, but the government in some instances did not appear to follow applicable laws and regulations in practice.  The government publishes basic information on natural resource extraction awards, but the system does not capture all of the awards and the data is unreliable.

Zambia’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing an end-of-year report online,
  • publishing substantially complete debt information,
  • enhancing the reliability of budget documents,
  • ensuring the government follows applicable laws and regulations for awarding contracts and licenses, and
  • reporting those awards for natural resource extraction in practice.

Zimbabwe:  During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal and enacted budget but not its end-of-year report, publicly available online within a reasonable period of time.  Information on some debt obligations was publicly available, but not information on contingent debt.  The central bank has used off budget accounts to conduct quasi-fiscal activity, and some of the debt has been assumed by the government.  Publicly available budget documents did not include a substantially complete picture of revenue streams, including natural resource revenues.  The budget included aggregate allocations to, but not earnings from, state owned enterprises.  Significant, large state-owned enterprises did not have audited financial statements.  The information in the budget was considered generally unreliable, as actual revenue and expenditure deviated significantly from the enacted budget because of the introduction of a new currency and high inflation.  The government did produce a supplemental budget.  The intelligence budget was not part of the public budget, and there were no procedures in place to permit civilian or parliamentary review of it.  Zimbabwe’s supreme audit institution reviewed the government’s accounts and made its report publicly available within a reasonable period of time.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards natural resource extraction contracts or licenses were specified in law.  The government appeared to follow the law in practice, except in the diamond sector, where it is unclear if the laws are followed in practice.  Basic information on mining concessions was not publicly available.

Zimbabwe’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing an end-of-year budget report,
  • publishing information on contingent debt,
  • eliminating off-budget accounts or subjecting them to adequate audit and oversight,
  • providing a complete picture of revenues and expenditures, including revenues from natural resources,
  • detailing allocations to and revenues from state-owned enterprises in budget documents,
  • making full audit reports for significant, large state-owned enterprises publicly available,
  • subjecting  the intelligence budget to parliamentary approval and civilian oversight
  • improving the reliability of budget estimates,
  • following in practice laws and regulations governing natural resource extraction contracting and licensing, and
  • making basic information about such awards publicly available.

_________________________

Date
Stephen Biegun
Deputy Secretary of State

 

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future