Government-by-Government Assessments: Oman
During the review period, the government made its enacted budget and end-of-year report widely and easily accessible to the public, including online. It did not publish an executive budget proposal. Information on debt obligations was generally publicly available online, except for state-owned enterprises. Publicly available budget documents lacked sufficient detail and did not include allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises or expenditures to support executive offices. Budget documents were comparable year-to-year and prepared according to internationally accepted principles. The government maintained off-budget accounts not subject to audit or oversight. Topline military and intelligence budgets were subject to civilian public oversight. The supreme audit institution did not meet international standards of independence, and it did not audit the government’s executed budget. The government does not fully specify in law or regulation the criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses. While the criteria for awarding natural resource extraction contracts was not generally public, the government appeared to follow the regulations that are publicly available and made basic information on awards was publicly available. The sovereign wealth fund had a sound legal framework and disclosed its source of funding and general approach to withdrawals.
Oman’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:
- Making its executive budget proposal publicly available within a reasonable period;
- Disclosing allocations to, earnings from, and debt information of state-owned enterprises;
- Publishing expenditures to support executive offices;
- Eliminating off-budget accounts or subjecting them to audit and oversight and making information on such accounts publicly available;
- Ensuring the supreme audit institution meets international standards of independence, audits the entire annual executed budget, and publishes its reports within a reasonable period; and
- Making the criteria for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses publicly available.