Government-by-Government Assessments: Lebanon
During the review period, the government did not enact a budget. Therefore, it did not publish online an executive budget proposal, an enacted budget, nor an end-of-year report. Information on debt obligations, including major state-owned enterprise debt, was not available. The most recent budget documents are from the previous reporting period and did not present a full picture of expenditures and revenues. Details regarding allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises were limited. The previous budget did not break down expenditures by ministry or government agency. Budgets to support executive offices, the military, and intelligence services were not broken down or subject to oversight. Information in the previous budget was not considered reliable nor reasonably accurate and did not correspond to actual revenues and expenditures. The supreme audit institution did not meet international standards of independence and did not make its audit reports publicly available.
Lebanon’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:
- Enacting a formal budget;
- Publishing an executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report within a reasonable period;
- Making information on state-owned enterprise debt publicly available;
- Ensuring budget documents are substantially complete and generally reliable;
- Detailing allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises;
- Publishing and subjecting to oversight executive office, military, and intelligence budgets;
- Enhancing the reliability of budget documents and publishing supplemental budgets when actual expenditures and revenues differ significantly from estimated figures;
- Ensuring the supreme audit institution meets international standards of independence;
- Publishing reliable and timely supreme audit institution reports; and
- Ensuring the supreme audit institution verifies the government’s annual financial statements and effectively follows up on findings.