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Government-by-Government Assessments: Libya

Internal political divisions continue to prevent the government from implementing regular budget processes, which adversely affected fiscal transparency and the country’s operations.  During the reporting period, the government did not publish an executive budget proposal or any summary of an enacted budget within a reasonable period.  An end-of-year budget execution report was available online.  Only limited information on debt obligations, including state-owned enterprise debt, was publicly available.  The budget included earnings and financial allocations to at least one major state-owned enterprise, however budget documents otherwise lacked sufficient detail.  Audit reports for large state-owned enterprises and information regarding expenditures to support executive offices were not publicly available.  Military and intelligence budgets were not subject to civilian oversight.  Libya does not yet fully use internationally accepted accounting principles.  The supreme audit institution did not meet international standards of independence.  It may have audited some of the government’s accounts but did not make any public reports available within a reasonable period.  The government specified in law or regulation and generally appeared to follow in practice the criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was public.  The sovereign wealth fund did not disclose its source of funding or general approach to withdrawals.

Libya’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • Publishing an executive budget proposal and enacted budget in a reasonable period;
  • Disclosing in its budget documents information on debt obligations, including state-owned enterprise debt;
  • Publishing expenditures to support executive offices;
  • Subjecting military and intelligence budgets to civilian public oversight;
  • Ensuring the supreme audit institution meets international standards of independence;
  • Subjecting military and intelligence budgets to further civilian oversight;
  • Fully adopting internationally accepted accounting principles;
  • Making supreme audit institution reports of the government’s executed budget and state-owned enterprises publicly available within a reasonable period; and
  • Ensuring the sovereign wealth fund discloses its source of funding and general approach to withdrawals.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future