Government-by-Government Assessments: South Sudan

There was no budget enacted for the fiscal year beginning July 2020.  During the review period, the government did not publish an executive budget proposal, enacted budget nor end-of-year report within a reasonable period of time.  Allocations to and earnings from Nile Petroleum Corporation, South Sudan’s national oil company and its only major state-owned enterprise, were not described in budget documents.  The company published no debt information or audited financial statements.  The government maintained off-budget accounts for which civilian oversight and scrutiny have been limited.  Information in budget documents was not reliable.  Ministries, agencies, and departments have consistently overspent or underspent their budgets, and the government did not issue revised budget estimates.  The supreme audit institution does not meet international standards of independence and has not published an audit report on the government’s accounts in several years due to capacity issues and lack of access to records and documentation from government entities, especially those associated with oil revenues and security sector expenditures.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were outlined in law but did not appear to be followed in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was not publicly available. South Sudan’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing its executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report within a reasonable period of time;
  • making public substantially complete information on debt obligations within a reasonable period of time;
  • conducting financial audits of the country’s only major state-owned enterprise, Nile Petroleum Corporation and making the results public;
  • reporting debt holdings of Nile Petroleum Corporation;
  • eliminating off-budget accounts or subjecting them to adequate oversight and audit;
  • 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 independence of the supreme audit institution;
  • publishing audit reports of the government’s accounts;
  • ensuring the consistent application of applicable laws and regulations in awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses; and
  • making basic information on natural resource extraction awards publicly available.

U.S. Department of State

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