Government-by-Government Assessments: Equatorial Guinea
During the review period, the government published its enacted budget within a reasonable period. The government did not, however, publish an executive budget proposal during the review period, and it did not publish its end-of-year report within a reasonable period. Budget documents were prepared according to internationally accepted principles. Budget documents, except the proposed budget, were available online. Only limited information on debt obligations, including state-owned enterprise debt, was publicly available. Budget documents provided a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue. However, the government did not produce and publicly issue revised budget estimates or pass a supplementary budget when the enacted budget differed from actual expenditures due to the ongoing pandemic. The government did not have an operating supreme audit institution that audited the executed budget and made its reports publicly available. Major state-owned enterprises lacked publicly available audited financial statements. The government also maintained significant off-budget accounts not subject to public oversight. The government specified in law or regulation the criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses. The government’s attempts to renegotiate awarded contracts created concern about its commitment to follow such laws. Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available. The sovereign wealth fund did not have a sound legal framework or disclose its source of funding and general approach to withdrawals.
Equatorial Guinea’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:
- Publishing an executive budget proposal in a reasonable period;
- Making budget documents and information on debt obligations widely and easily accessible to the public;
- Disclosing state-owned enterprise debt;
- Subjecting off-budget accounts to public oversight;
- Producing and publicly issuing a revised budget when actual expenditures deviate significantly from projections;
- Establishing a supreme audit institution that audits the government’s executed budget and makes its reports publicly available;
- Publishing audited financial statements for major state-owned enterprises; and
- Establishing a sound legal framework for the sovereign wealth fund and disclosing its source of funding and general approach to withdrawals.