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Government-by-Government Assessments: Oman

During the review period, the government made significant progress by ensuring its sovereign wealth fund had a sound legal framework and disclosed its sources of funding and general approach to withdrawals.  The government made its enacted budget and end-of-year report widely and easily accessible to the public, including online.  It did not publish an executive budget proposal.  Limited information on debt obligations was publicly available online, except for state-owned enterprises.  Publicly available budget documents lacked sufficient detail and did not include allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises, or allocations to the royal family.  The government maintained off-budget accounts not subject to audit or oversight.  Military and intelligence budgets were not subject to civilian oversight.  The supreme audit institution did not meet international standards of independence, and it did not audit the government’s executed budget.  The government specified in law or regulation the criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses.  The criteria for awarding natural resource extraction contracts was not generally public, however basic information on awards was publicly available.

Oman’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • Making its executive budget proposal widely and easily accessible to the public within a reasonable period;
  • Disclosing allocations to, earnings from and debt information of state-owned enterprises;
  • Publishing expenditures for the royal family;
  • Subjecting military and intelligence budgets to civilian oversight;
  • Subjecting off-budget accounts to audit and oversight and making information on such accounts publicly available;
  • Ensuring the supreme audit institution meets international standards, audits the government’s annual executed budget, and makes its reports public; and
  • Making the criteria for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses publicly available.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future