Government-by-Government Assessments: Iraq
During the review period, the government published a budget for the first time since 2019. It made significant progress in eight areas, by (1) publishing information on debt obligations within a reasonable period; (2) publishing state-owned enterprise debt information within a reasonable period; (3) breaking down in the budget expenditures by ministry or government agency; (4) including in the budget major sources of revenue and expenditure; (5) disclosing major off-budget accounts; (6) ensuring the supreme audit institution met international standards of independence; (7) ensuring the audit report covered the entire annual executed budget; and (8) ensuring the supreme audit institution published substantive findings and recommendations. The government returned to publishing its enacted budget within a reasonable period, but not its end-of-year report or executive budget proposal. Actual revenues and expenditures corresponded to those in the enacted budget. However, budget documents were not prepared according to internationally accepted principles. Available budget documents provided insufficient details regarding allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises. The government specified in law or regulation but did not appear to follow in practice the criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses. Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.
Iraq’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:
- Publishing its executive budget proposal and end-of-year report within a reasonable period;
- Ensuring budget documents include substantially complete information on allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises;
- Ensuring budget documents meet international standards; and
- Following laws for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses in practice.