Government-by-Government Assessments: Burma

This review period was the first full calendar year of military rule since the military coup in February 2021.  During the review period, the military regime did not publish its executive budget proposal or end-of-year report online within a reasonable period, although it did publish its enacted budget online within a reasonable period.  The military regime did not review its budget throughout the fiscal year.  The military regime resumed publishing quarterly budget reports with limited information.  Although budget execution deviated significantly from budget projections, the military regime passed a supplementary budget.  Limited information on debt obligations was available online, but publicly available budget documents did not include allocations to, earnings from, or debt information of state-owned enterprises.  The military regime maintained off-budget accounts not subject to audit or oversight and did not break down expenditures to support executive offices.  Military and intelligence budgets were not subject to parliamentary or civilian public oversight.  The supreme audit institution did not meet international standards of independence and did not issue publicly available audit reports of the government’s financial accounts.  The government did not fully specify in law or regulation the criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction license and contracts and did not appear to follow existing procedures in practice.  Basic information on awards was not publicly available.

Burma’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • Making its executive budget proposal and end-of-year report publicly available within a reasonable period;
  • Breaking down budget expenditures by ministry or government agency;
  • Providing a substantially complete picture of government revenues and expenditures in the budget, including expenditures to support executive offices;
  • Including in the budget allocations to, earnings from, and debt information of state-owned enterprises;
  • Subjecting all government accounts to audit or oversight;
  • Subjecting military and intelligence budgets to parliamentary or civilian public oversight;
  • Preparing budget documents according to internationally accepted principles;
  • Ensuring the supreme audit institution meets international standards of independence and publishes audit reports of the government’s entire annual executed budget and contain substantive findings;
  • Exercising legal authority over natural resource extraction;
  • Specifying in law the criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses;
  • Following natural resource extraction laws and regulations in practice; and
  • Making basic information on natural resource extraction contracts publicly available.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future