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Government-by-Government Assessments: Bahrain

During the review period, the government published its executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report within a reasonable period.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available.  Publicly available budget documents were incomplete and provided only limited detail on allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises and debt of all major state-owned enterprises was not disclosed.  The government did not break down expenditures to support executive offices.  Specifically, royal court expenditures were not included in the budget.  The government sufficiently accounted for discrepancies in projected and actual revenues in its end-of-year report.  The supreme audit institution met international standards of independence and audited the government’s executed budget, but only published portions of its audit report.  The government specified in law or regulation and 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 publicly available.  The sovereign wealth fund had a sound legal framework and disclosed its source of funding and general approach to withdrawals.

Bahrain’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • Detailing in budget documents allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises;
  • Publishing information on government debt obligations, including for major state-owned enterprises;
  • Breaking down expenditures to support executive offices in the budget; and
  • Ensuring the supreme audit institution publishes audit reports of the government’s executed budget.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future