Government-by-Government Assessments: Gabon
During the review period, the government made significant progress by publishing its executive proposal and end-of-year report online within a reasonable period of time. It also published substantive reports by the supreme audit institution and made its debt obligations public, including contingent and state-owned enterprise debt, within a reasonable period of time. It did not make its enacted budget publicly available 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 detail on expenditures by individual ministries. However, budget documents lacked 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. The supreme audit institution meets international standards of independence. It 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. The sovereign wealth fund did not disclose its source of funding or general approach to withdrawals. Gabon’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:
- making the enacted budget publicly available within a reasonable period of time;
- ensuring adequate audit and oversight for off-budget accounts;
- 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;
- making basic information for natural resource extraction awards publicly available; and
- disclosing sovereign wealth fund source of funding and general approach to withdrawals.