Government-by-Government Assessments: Zambia

During the review period, the government made significant progress by making its debt obligations, including overall state-owned enterprise debt, publicly available and updated within a reasonable period.  The government also made significant progress by including financial allocations to and earnings from major state-owned enterprises in the budget.  The government made its executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report accessible to the public, including online.  Publicly available budget documents provided a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, including natural resource revenues.  Debt information for some major state-owned enterprises remained limited.  Actual revenues and expenditures did not reasonably correspond to those in the enacted budget.  While the government did not issue a revised or supplementary budget, it sought and obtained retroactive legislative approval for excess expenditures.  The supreme audit institution did not meet international standards of independence but did review the government’s accounts and made its report publicly available within a reasonable period.  The government specified in law or regulation but did not appear to always follow in practice the criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses.  The government published basic information on natural resource extraction awards.

Zambia’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • Publishing the debt holdings of all major state-owned enterprises;
  • Ensuring actual revenues and expenditures reasonably correspond to those in the enacted budget;
  • Producing and publicly issuing revised budget estimates or passing a supplementary budget when actual revenues or expenditures do not reasonably correspond to those in the enacted budget;
  • Ensuring the supreme audit institution meets international standards of independence; and
  • Following laws and regulations for awarding natural resource licenses in practice.

U.S. Department of State

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