On August 15, 2019, the Department of State released the 2019 Fiscal Transparency Report, consistent with section 7031(b) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2019 (Div. F, P.L. 116-6). The Report found that 74 of 141 governments reviewed by the Department met minimum requirements of fiscal transparency. Thirteen of the 67 governments that did not meet minimum requirements made significant progress during the review period.
The report describes the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency developed by the Department. It reviews 140 governments identified as recipients of assistance in the 2014 Fiscal Transparency Report, plus Equatorial Guinea, and assesses governments that did not meet the minimum fiscal transparency requirements during the review period of January 1 – December 31, 2018. The report also indicates whether governments that did not meet those requirements made significant progress to publicly disclose national budget documentation, contracts, and licenses during the review period. The Department evaluated the public availability, substantial completeness, and reliability of budget documents, as well as the transparency of processes for awarding government contracts and licenses.
Fiscal transparency is a critical element of effective public financial management, helps build private market confidence, and underpins economic sustainability. It fosters greater government accountability by providing a window into government budgets for citizens, helping citizens to hold their leadership accountable, and facilitating better-informed public debate. Annual fiscal transparency reviews provide opportunities to engage in dialogue with governments on the importance of fiscal transparency.
The report can be found on the Department’s website at https://www.state.gov/fiscal-transparency-report.