Government-by-Government Assessments: Eswatini
During the review period, budget documents were available to the public. However, the executive budget proposal and the end-of-year report were not available online within a reasonable period. Information on debt obligations was publicly available online. While budget documents provided a general picture of government revenues and expenditures, expenditures for royal emoluments were not broken down. Information in the budget was considered generally reliable. The government’s supreme audit institution published an audit report within a reasonable period, however it lacked independence that met international standards and its audits did not cover the entire annual executed budget. The government outlined in law or regulation the criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts, but the opacity of the procedures cast doubt on whether the government followed the law in practice. Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was not always publicly available. It is not clear whether sovereign wealth funds had sound legal frameworks, and they did not disclose sources of funding or general approaches to withdrawals.
Eswatini’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:
- Publishing the executive budget proposal and end-of-year report online within a reasonable period;
- Including comprehensive expenditure information for royal emoluments in budget documents;
- Ensuring the supreme audit institution meets international standards of independence and its reports cover the entire annual executed budget;
- Ensuring laws for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses are followed in practice;
- Making basic information on natural resource extraction awards publicly available; and
- Ensuring sovereign wealth funds have a sound legal framework and disclose their sources of funding and general approach to withdrawals.