Government-by-Government Assessments: Eswatini
During the review period, budget documents were available to the general public; however, 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. However the supreme audit institution did not meet international standards of independence. 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. Sovereign wealth funds do not disclose source of funding and general approach to withdrawals. 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;
- ensuring the supreme audit institution meets international standards of independence;
- demonstrating applicable laws are followed in practice for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses;
- making basic information on natural resource extraction awards publicly available; and
- disclosing sovereign wealth funds’ sources of funding and general approach to withdrawals.