Government-by-Government Assessments: Lesotho
During the review period, the government made its enacted budget publicly available within a reasonable period. The government did not, however, publish its budget proposal or end-of-year report within a reasonable period. The government published information on debt obligations, including major state-owned enterprise debt, within a reasonable period. Budget documents provided a substantially full picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue; however, it did not include financial allocations to and earnings from major state-owned-enterprises. The government broke down expenditures to support executive offices. Budget executions deviated significantly from budget projections and the government did not produce and publicly issue revised budget estimates or pass a supplementary budget. The government maintained off-budget accounts not subject to audit or oversight. Military and intelligence budgets were subject to parliamentary oversight. The supreme audit institution did not meet international standards of independence, although it published audits that covered the entire budget and contained substantive findings. 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 not publicly available.
Lesotho’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:
- Publishing a budget proposal and end-of-year report online within a reasonable period;
- Detailing allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises;
- Producing and publicly issuing revised budget estimates or passing a supplementary budget when budget executions deviate significantly from projections;
- Eliminating off-budget accounts or subjecting them to adequate oversight and audit;
- Ensuring the supreme audit institution meets international standards of independence; and
- Making basic information on natural resource extraction publicly available.