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Government-by-Government Assessments: Nicaragua

During the review period, the government made its enacted budget and end-of-year report accessible to the public, including online.  It did not publish its executive budget proposal online within a reasonable period.  Publicly available budget documents did not provide a substantially complete picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue.  While limited information on debt obligations was publicly available, information on major state-owned enterprise debt was unavailable.  Budget documents were not prepared according to internationally accepted principles, and the government did not break down expenditures supporting executive offices.  The government did not publicly disclose significant off-budget accounts.  The supreme audit institution did not meet international standards of independence and 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, but it was unclear if these regulations were followed in practice.  Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available.

Nicaragua’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

  • Publishing the executive budget proposal online within a reasonable period;
  • Ensuring the budget provides a substantially full picture by including major sources of revenue and expenditure;
  • Including in the budget allocations to and earnings from major state-owned enterprises;
  • Publishing information on government debt obligations, including for major state-owned enterprises;
  • Preparing budget documents according to internationally accepted principles;
  • Publishing expenditures to support executive offices;
  • Eliminating off-budget accounts or subjecting them to adequate oversight and audit;
  • Ensuring the supreme audit institution meets international standards of independence and publishes audit reports of the government’s executed budget that contain substantive findings; and
  • Following natural resource extraction laws and regulations in practice.

U.S. Department of State

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