Government-by-Government Assessments: Suriname

During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal and the enacted budget easily accessible to the general public, including online.   Its end-of-year budget report was not, however, publicly available.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available, with the exception of state-owned enterprise debt, which was limited.  The sole significant, large state-owned enterprise had publicly available audit reports.  The government generally followed internationally accepted accounting principles, but it continued to treat loans as revenues.  The government did not review its budget throughout the fiscal year.  Actual government revenues and expenditures deviated from the enacted budget, and the origin and level of accuracy of some information in the budget was unreliable.  The government maintained off-budget accounts not subject to oversight.  The supreme audit institution generally meets international standards of independence, although it lacked the authority and capacity to conduct and publish timely audits.  During the review period, it published a limited audit report.  The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and appeared to be followed in practice, with the exception of smaller gold mining concessions.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.  The sovereign wealth fund does not disclose its source of funding or general approach to withdrawals. Suriname’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • publishing an end-of-year budget report;
  • detailing allocations to, earnings from, and debt holdings of state-owned enterprises;
  • reviewing the budget throughout the fiscal year;
  • producing and publishing a supplemental budget when actual revenues and expenditures do not correspond to those in the enacted budget;
  • subjecting off-budget accounts to oversight;
  • preparing financial statements according to internationally accepted principles;
  • ensuring the supreme audit institution has the capacity and authority to conduct and publish timely audits;
  • ensuring applicable laws and regulations for contracting and licensing in natural resource extraction are followed in practice; and
  • disclosing the sovereign wealth fund’s source of funding and general approach to withdrawals.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future