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Government-by-Government Assessments: Haiti

During the review period, the government returned to publishing its enacted budget online within a reasonable period of time, after failing to do so during the last review period.  However, the executive budget proposal was not published online within a reasonable period of time, nor was it approved by the legislature.  Budget documents were not prepared according to internationally accepted principles.  Limited information on debt obligations was publicly available, however the government did not publish the debt information of, nor allocations to and earnings from significant state-owned enterprises.  While the government has not published an end-of-year report, it did produce a summary of public finances.  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 published budget did not provide sufficient detail for each ministry or agency.  While actual revenues and expenditures do not reasonably correspond to those in the enacted budget, the government did publish a revised budget.  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, although a line item for the military was included in the budget for the first time.  The supreme audit institution does not meet international standards of independence.  It 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 proposals and end-of-year reports 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, earnings from, and debt holdings of state-owned enterprises;
  • subjecting its military budget to civilian oversight;
  • ensuring adequate audit and oversight for off-budget accounts;
  • ensuring actual revenues and expenditures reasonably correspond to the in the enacted budget;
  • 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 meets international standards of independence, is empowered to audit 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.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future