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Government-by-Government Assessments: 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  Information on debt obligations was available online, but it was out of date.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.  It is unclear to what extent there was civilian oversight of military and intelligence budgets.  The supreme audit institution did not meet international standards of 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.  In 2016, 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;
  • including in the budget financial allocations to and earnings from major state-owned enterprises;
  • making comprehensive, state-owned enterprise debt information publicly available;
  • disclosing major state-owned enterprise debt;
  • ensuring the supreme audit institution meets international standards of independence;
  • 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.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future