2016 Fiscal Transparency Report


Note: This report is also available in French and Russian.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 2016 FISCAL TRANSPARENCY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 7031(b)(3) OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE, FOREIGN OPERATIONS, AND RELATED PROGRAMS APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2016 (DIV. K, P.L.114-113)

2016 Fiscal Transparency Report

AGENCY: Department of State

ACTION: Notice

SUMMARY: The Department of State (“the Department”) hereby presents the findings from the 2016 fiscal transparency review process in its Fiscal Transparency Report pursuant to section 7031(b)(3) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2016 (Div. K, P.L.114-113) (“the Act”). This report describes the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency developed, updated, and strengthened by the Department in consultation with other relevant federal agencies, reviews governments that were originally identified as recipients of assistance in the 2014 Fiscal Transparency Report, assesses those that did not meet the minimum fiscal transparency requirements, and indicates whether governments that did not meet the minimum fiscal transparency requirements made significant progress toward meeting the requirements during the review period of January 1 – December 31, 2015. The report also provides a brief description of the use of the Fiscal Transparency Innovation Fund.

Fiscal Transparency

For the purpose of this report, the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency include having key budget documents that are publicly available, substantially complete, and generally reliable. The review includes an assessment of the transparency of processes for awarding government contracts and licenses for natural resource extraction. Fiscal transparency is a critical element of effective public financial management, helps in building market confidence, and underpins economic sustainability. Fiscal transparency fosters greater government accountability by providing a window into government budgets for citizens, helping them to hold their leadership accountable, and facilitating better-informed public debates. The Department’s fiscal transparency review process assesses whether governments meet minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.

Annual reviews of the fiscal transparency of governments that receive U.S. assistance help ensure U.S. taxpayer money is used appropriately and provide opportunities to dialogue with governments on the importance of fiscal transparency.

Section 7031(b) of the Act requires the Secretary to “update and strengthen” minimum requirements of fiscal transparency for each government receiving assistance appropriated by the Act, as identified in the 2014 Fiscal Transparency Report, in consultation with other relevant federal agencies, and to make or update any determination of “significant” or “no significant progress” in meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency for each government that did not meet the minimum requirements. Through authority delegated from the Secretary in delegation of authority 245-1, the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources made those determinations for 2016.

The fiscal transparency determinations may change from year to year due to updating and strengthening minimum requirements of fiscal transparency as required by law, changes in governments’ performance on public financial management, or new information coming to the Department’s attention. As a result, some governments may fall short of these requirements, despite in some cases maintaining or even improving their overall level of fiscal transparency. The report includes a description as to how governments fell short of the minimum requirements, outlines any significant progress being made toward meeting the minimum requirements, and provides specific recommendations of steps such governments should take to improve fiscal transparency. The report also outlines the process followed by the Department in completing the assessments and describes how funds appropriated by the FY 2016 Act and by earlier appropriations acts are being used to support fiscal transparency.

While a lack of fiscal transparency can be an enabling factor for corruption, the report does not assess corruption. A finding that a government “does not meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency” does not necessarily mean there is significant corruption in the government; a finding that a government “meets the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency” does not necessarily reflect a low level of corruption.

Fiscal Transparency Review Process and Criteria

The Department reviewed the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency in consultation with other relevant federal agencies, and updated and strengthened those requirements. The Department then assessed the fiscal transparency of the 140 governments identified, determined whether the minimum requirements were met, and identified any measures those governments had implemented to make significant progress toward meeting the requirements.

In conducting the 2016 review, the Department assessed the fiscal transparency of governments during the review period of January 1 – December 31, 2015. In reaching determinations, the Department considered information from U.S. embassies and consulates, other U.S. government agencies, international organizations, and civil society organizations. U.S. diplomatic missions consulted with foreign government officials, international organizations, and civil society to obtain information for these assessments.

In evaluating governments, the Department recognizes specific circumstances and practices of fiscal transparency differ among governments while ensuring minimum fiscal transparency requirements are met in order to enable meaningful public participation in budgeting processes.

Minimum Requirements of Fiscal Transparency

Subsection 7031(b)(2) of the Act provides that the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency are requirements “consistent with those in subsection 7031(a)(1)” and the public disclosure of:

  • national budget documentation (to include receipts and expenditures by ministry), and
  • government contracts and licenses for natural resource extraction (to include bidding and concession allocation practices).

The 2016 fiscal transparency review process evaluated whether the identified governments publicly disclose key budget documents including expenditures broken down by ministry and revenues broken down by source and type. The review process also evaluated whether the government has an independent supreme audit institution or similar institution that audits the government’s annual financial statements, and whether such audits are made publicly available. The review further assessed whether the process for awarding licenses and contracts for natural resource extraction is outlined in law or regulation and followed in practice, and whether basic information on such awards is publicly available. The Department applied the following criteria in assessing whether governments met the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.

Budget information should be:

  • Publicly Available: Budget documents, including the executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report, should be widely and easily accessible to the general public, at government offices or libraries, upon request from the ministry, for purchase at a nominal fee at a government office, or preferably online. Budget documents should be disseminated within a reasonable period of time. A “reasonable period of time” generally corresponds to at least one month before the start of the fiscal year (and before budget approval by the legislature) for the executive budget proposal, within three months of enactment for the enacted budget, and within 18 months of the end of the fiscal year for the end-of-year report. Information on government debt obligations should be publicly available.
     
  • Substantially Complete: Publicly available budget documents should provide a substantially full picture of the government's planned expenditures and revenue streams, including natural resource revenues. Budgets should include expenditures broken down by ministry and revenues broken down by source and type. Budget documents should detail allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises. If not, such information should be available in other public documents. Significant, large state-owned enterprises should have publicly available audited financial statements. A published budget that does not include significant cash or non-cash resources, including foreign aid, would not be considered substantially complete. Budget documents should incorporate all special accounts or funds; if there are off-budget accounts that have a legitimate purpose, they should be audited, the results made public, and the accounts subject to oversight. Budget documents should also include expenditures to support executive offices or royal families where such expenditures represent a significant budgetary outlay. The review process recognizes military and intelligence budgets are often not publicly available for national security reasons. However, military and intelligence budgets should be approved by the parliament and subject to civilian oversight.
     
  • Reliable: Budget documents and related data are considered reliable if the information contained therein is credible, meaning that actual government revenues and expenditures correspond to the enacted budget. Significant departures from planned receipts and expenditures should be explained in supplementary budget documents and publicly disclosed in a timely manner. Financial statements should be prepared according to internationally accepted principles that yield consistent and comparable statements. The executed budget should be audited by an independent supreme audit institution, and the results of such audits should be made public within a reasonable period of time (generally within 12 months of the dissemination of the end-of-year report).

Natural resource extraction contracting and licensing procedures should be:

  • Transparent: The criteria and procedures for the contracting and licensing of natural resource extraction should be publicly available and codified in law or regulation. These laws and regulations should be followed in practice. The basic parameters of concessions and contracts should be made publicly available after the decision. Such information should include the geographic area covered by the contract or license, the resource being developed, the duration of the contract, and the company to which the contract or license is awarded.

Significant Progress or No Significant Progress

A determination of “significant progress” indicates that during the review period a government has addressed a key deficiency in meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.

Fiscal Transparency Innovation Fund

Section 7031(b)(4) of the Act requires funds appropriated under Title III of the Act be made available for programs and activities to assist governments identified in the fiscal transparency report to improve budget transparency and to support civil society organizations that promote fiscal transparency. In response to a similar requirement, the Department and USAID created the Fiscal Transparency Innovation Fund (FTIF) in FY 2012. FTIF supports programs and activities that assist governments to improve their public financial management and fiscal transparency standards, and civil society organizations that promote budget transparency. The Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment solicit proposals and award funds in accordance with established guidelines. In FY 2016, the Department and USAID intend to provide $4.5 million for FTIF.

The Department and USAID have begun obligating a planned total of $5 million in FY 2015 Economic Support Funds through the FTIF to support 12 projects in the following countries: Bangladesh, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Kenya, Mali, Serbia, Sierra Leone, and Ukraine. The projects further efforts by government and civil society to enhance fiscal transparency and public financial management practices, and to improve public awareness and involvement in the expenditure of public resources. Examples of projects include $50,000 to build the capacity of civil society organizations in Bangladesh to advocate for fiscal transparency, and $375,000 to strengthen the ability of auditors and the legislature in Côte d’Ivoire to perform budget oversight.

The Department plans to use FY 2016 funds through the FTIF to support projects to enhance: (1) governments’ capacity to develop and execute comprehensive, reliable, and transparent budgets; (2) citizens’ visibility into state expenditure and revenue programs; and/or (3) citizens’ ability to advocate for specific issues related to government budgets and budget processes.

Conclusions of Review Process

The Department concluded, of the 140 governments evaluated pursuant to the Act, 64 did not meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency. However, of these 64, eight governments made significant progress toward meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.

The Department assessed the following governments as meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency for 2016: Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Armenia, The Bahamas, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Uruguay, and Zambia.

The following table lists those governments that were found not to meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency and identifies whether the governments made significant progress toward meeting those requirements:

Governments Assessed in 2016 Pursuant
to the Act as not Meeting Minimum
Requirements of Fiscal Transparency

Significant
Progress

No Significant
Progress

Algeria

 

X

Angola

 

X

Azerbaijan

X

 

Bahrain

 

X

Bangladesh

 

X

Belize

 

X

Benin

 

X

Botswana

 

X

Burkina Faso

 

X

Burma

 

X

Burundi

 

X

Cambodia

 

X

Cameroon

 

X

Central African Republic

X

 

Chad

 

X

China

 

X

Comoros

 

X

Congo, Democratic Republic of the

 

X

Congo, Republic of the

 

X

Djibouti

 

X

Ecuador

 

X

Egypt

 

X

Ethiopia

 

X

Gabon

 

X

Gambia, The

 

X

Guinea

 

X

Guinea-Bissau

 

X

Haiti

 

X

Iraq

X

 

Laos

 

X

Lebanon

 

X

Liberia

 

X

Libya

 

X

Madagascar

 

X

Malawi

 

X

Maldives

 

X

Mali

X

 

Mauritania

 

X

Moldova

 

X

Mozambique

 

X

Nicaragua

 

X

Niger

 

X

Nigeria

X

 

Oman

 

X

Pakistan

 

X

Palestinian Authority

 

X

Papua New Guinea

 

X

Sao Tome and Principe

 

X

Saudi Arabia

 

X

Seychelles

 

X

Somalia

X

 

South Sudan

 

X

Sudan

 

X

Suriname

 

X

Swaziland

 

X

Tajikistan

 

X

Tanzania

X

 

Tonga

 

X

Turkmenistan

 

X

Ukraine

X

 

Uzbekistan

 

X

Vietnam

 

X

Yemen

 

X

Zimbabwe

 

X

Government-by-Government Assessments

This section describes areas where governments fell short of the Department’s minimum requirements of fiscal transparency during the review period and includes specific recommendations of steps such governments should take to improve fiscal transparency. For those governments found to have made significant progress toward meeting the minimum requirements, the section also includes a brief description of such progress.

Algeria: During the review period, budget documents were generally publicly available, but the government did not publish an executive budget proposal or end-of-year reports within a reasonable period of time. Limited information regarding public debt was publicly available. The budget did not include allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises. The government maintained off-budget accounts for which audit reports were not publicly available, though the government has made some efforts to reduce the number of off-budget accounts. The information in the budget was generally considered reliable but the government did not publish budget execution reports. Despite auditing the government’s financial statements, the supreme audit institution did not make its reports public. The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards natural resource contracts or licenses were specified in law and appeared to be followed in practice. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Algeria’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: publishing the executive budget proposal and end-of-year reports within a reasonable period of time; providing additional detail regarding revenues and expenditures in the budget, including those for state-owned enterprises and off-budget accounts; making audit reports of off-budget accounts public; and ensuring the supreme audit institution carries out audits of the government’s annual financial statements and makes its reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.

Angola: During the review period, the budget was widely and easily accessible to the general public online. Budget information was substantially complete. Information in budget documents was considered generally reliable, though there were concerns about the accuracy of information about expenditures. Also, the supreme audit institution has not audited the entire budget annually, and its reports were not public. The criteria and process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts were outlined in law or regulation and appeared to be followed in practice. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Angola’s fiscal transparency would be improved by ensuring its supreme audit institution audits the government’s annual financial accounts and publishes its findings within a reasonable period of time.

Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan made significant progress during the review period by publishing more detail on planned expenditures, including allocations to state-owned enterprises, in opinion reports prepared by the Chamber of Accounts; however, the government should disaggregate allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in budget documents. During the review period, budget documents were publicly available and provided a substantially complete picture of the government’s revenues, including natural resource revenues. Budget documents did not fully disaggregate allocations to or earnings from state-owned enterprises, though the Chamber of Accounts, Azerbaijan’s supreme audit institution, has begun publishing more detail on allocations to state-owned enterprises. All significant state-owned enterprises had audited accounts publicly available online. Information in budget documents was generally reliable. The supreme audit institution audited a portion of the government’s annual executed budget and its reports were publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The criteria and process by which the government awards natural resource contracts or licenses were generally opaque and only partially specified in law, regulation, or public documents. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Azerbaijan’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: ensuring the supreme audit institution has a plan for auditing all government ministries and agencies over a specific period of time; and fully specifying in law or regulation the process for awarding natural resource extraction contracts or licenses and following that process in practice.

Bahrain: During the review period, budget documents were widely and easily accessible to the general public online, but did not include royal family expenditures or detail allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises. Only line items for each ministry or agency were publicly available. While budget documents were generally reliable, the government did not publish periodic budget execution reports or issue revised budgets. The supreme audit institution audited the government’s executed budget and published its audit report in newspapers. The criteria and process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts were outlined in law or regulation and appeared to be followed in practice. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Bahrain’s fiscal transparency would be improved by providing greater detail in its budget, including allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises and royal family expenditures, and publishing supreme audit institution audit reports online.

Bangladesh: During the review period, Bangladesh’s budget and information on debt obligations were widely and easily accessible to the public, including online. While budget documents provided a broad picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, they lacked detail. The budget did not identify allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises, or natural resource revenues. Bangladesh’s supreme audit institution reviewed the government’s annual executed budget but its reports were not publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The criteria and process for allocating licenses and contracts for natural resource extraction were outlined in law and appeared to be followed in practice. Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was not consistently publicly available online or in an official gazette, despite details being announced at the time of awards. Bangladesh’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: making budget documents substantially complete with greater detail on natural resource revenues and allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises; making budget audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time; and making basic information about natural resource extraction licenses and contracts publicly available.

Belize: During the review period, budget documents were widely and easily available to the public and provided a substantially complete picture of the government’s revenues, including those from natural resources. Budget information was generally reliable but the supreme audit institution did not publish audit reports within a reasonable period of time, and appeared under-resourced to accomplish its mission. There were also delays in receiving the budget information necessary to conduct audits in a timely manner. The criteria and process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts were outlined in law and generally appeared to be followed in practice. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Belize’s fiscal transparency would be improved by delivering budget information to the supreme audit institution in a more timely fashion, and having the supreme audit institution publish audit reports within a reasonable period of time.

Benin: During the review period, budget documents were available to the public online. Budget documents included, but did not detail, revenues from natural resources or allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises. State-owned enterprises had audited financial statements but such statements were not publicly available. Significant variations between budget projections and execution have been common, and the publication of budget execution reports has not been consistent. The supreme audit institution did not publish audit reports of the government’s annual financial statements. The process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts was outlined in law or regulation and generally appeared to be followed in practice. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Benin’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: providing a comprehensive public accounting of all revenues and expenditures, including from state-owned enterprises and the relatively nominal revenues from natural resources; making the information in budget documents more reliable; and ensuring its supreme audit institution audits the government’s annual financial statements and makes its reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.

Botswana: During the review period, the executive’s budget speech and supplementary information were available online, but the full executive budget proposal was not released before enactment of the budget. The full enacted budget and audit reports were available through the Government Bookshop or the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning’s library in Gaborone. During the review period, the government did not publish the end-of-year report for fiscal year 2013-2014, although the supreme audit institution’s audit report for fiscal year 2013-2014 was available for purchase at the Government Bookshop in Gaborone and contained some end-of-year data. In a positive move, the government began circulating budget pamphlets in 2015 to increase public awareness of basic budgeting decisions and realities, and these were available online. However, overall public access to detailed budget information has deteriorated, and it was necessary to visit several government offices in order to access detailed budget information. While detailed information on the executive budget proposal was not published until after the budget was enacted, information in the enacted budget was otherwise substantially complete. The government did not publish budget execution reports, although topline budget updates such as total revenues, expenditures, and balance of payments were released based on actual spending and revenues. Detailed supplementary budgets were not made public in a timely manner. The supreme audit institution audited the government’s annual financial statements. Its audit reports were no longer accessible online, although they were available in hard copy. The process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts was outlined in law or regulation. Basic information on awards was public. Botswana’s fiscal transparency would be enhanced by increasing the accessibility of detailed budget documents, including audit reports; publishing separate end-of-year reports; and publishing budget execution reports and releasing supplementary budget details in a timely manner.

Burkina Faso: Due to political turmoil and elections near the end of 2015, some budget documents were not available during the review period. The fiscal year 2013 end-of-year report and fiscal year 2016 executive budget proposal were not publicly available. The fiscal year 2016 enacted budget was published online in December 2015. The budget was substantially complete and considered generally reliable. The supreme audit institution conducted audits of the government’s financial statements and its reports were publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts was outlined in law and generally appeared to be followed in practice. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Burkina Faso’s fiscal transparency would be improved by publishing budget documents, including the executive budget proposal and end-of-year reports, within a reasonable period of time.

Burma: During the review period, the enacted budget was publicly available, but the public saw only summary information for each ministry. The government did not make publicly available its executive budget proposal and end-of-year reports, or comprehensive information on debt obligations. The government did not publicly issue revised budget estimates or budget execution reports, though this information was shared within the government and submitted to parliament. Upon being submitted to parliament, this information was posted online by parliamentarians via social media. Budget documents did not capture allocations to and earnings from military-owned enterprises that fall under the Ministry of Defense. During the review period, the government did not regularly audit state-owned enterprises, which have been permitted to have special accounts into which they can put 55 percent of their net revenues to be used for developing their operations. It is unclear to what extent there was civilian oversight of the military and intelligence budgets. The supreme audit institution did not issue publicly available audit reports of the government’s financial accounts, though it has issued them to parliament. The process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts was not sufficiently outlined in law or regulation, nor was basic information on awards always publicly available. Burma’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: publishing detailed, comprehensive budget documents; publishing more information on debt obligations; making state-owned enterprise audited accounts and supreme audit institution reports publicly available; establishing greater civilian oversight over military and intelligence budgets; specifying in law or regulation the process and criteria for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses, adhering to these laws, and making basic information on all such awards public.

Burundi: During the review period, the government did not publish its executive budget proposal, and only its enacted budget and end-of-year reports were publicly available within a reasonable period of time. Budget documents were incomplete. Natural resource revenues, though relatively nominal, were not included in the budget. The government appeared to maintain some off-budget accounts, and civilian oversight over military and intelligence budgets appeared limited. The supreme audit institution did not make audit reports readily available to the public. The process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts was outlined in law or regulation, but there have been reports of inconsistent application of applicable regulations. Basic information on awards was publicly available, though difficult to access. Burundi’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: publishing its executive budget proposal; ensuring all revenues and expenditures are reflected in the budget; establishing greater civilian oversight over military and intelligence budgets; making the supreme audit institution’s audit reports publicly available; consistently adhering to legal processes for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses; and facilitating better access to basic information about natural resource extraction awards.

Cambodia: During the review period, the enacted budget was made public within a reasonable period of time, but publication of end-of-year reports was delayed. The executive budget proposal was not publicly available. Publicly available budget documents were substantially complete. Information in the budget was not always accurate. The supreme audit institution was authorized to audit government accounts and belatedly published reports for fiscal years 2011 and 2012 during the review period. The process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts was not outlined in law or regulation and basic information on awards was not publicly available. Cambodia’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: making its executive budget proposal, end-of-year reports, and audit reports widely and easily accessible to the general public within a reasonable period of time; specifying in law or regulation the process and criteria by which the government awards natural resource contracts or licenses; and thereafter following such law or regulation in practice and making basic information on awards publicly available.

Cameroon: During the review period, budget documents were widely and easily accessible to the public online. However, information in budget documents was incomplete. Allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises were not identified in budget documents and few state-owned enterprises produced financial statements. Information in budget documents was generally considered reliable, though some institutions, including the office of the president, military, police, and intelligence services, have not provided accurate reporting on their budget execution. The supreme audit institution did not audit the government’s entire budget, and no audit reports were publicly available. The criteria and process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts were outlined in law or regulation and generally appeared to be followed in practice. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Cameroon’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: including all revenues and expenditures in the budget; increasing transparency regarding allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises; subjecting the office of the president and security service budgets to appropriate audit and oversight; and having the supreme audit institution conduct audits of the government’s entire budget and publish audit reports within a reasonable period of time.

Central African Republic: The Central African Republic made significant progress during the review period by beginning a return to normal budget procedures, establishing a website that makes budget documents available and communicates information about the budget process, and conducting periodic reviews of budget execution. During the review period, some budget documents, including the executive budget proposal and enacted budget, were publicly available, though end-of-year reports were not. Budget documents were substantially complete with the exception of allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises. Information in budget documents was of mixed reliability and the supreme audit institution did not publish audit reports of the government’s annual financial statements within a reasonable period of time. The criteria and process by which the government awards natural resource contracts or licenses were specified in law and generally appeared to be followed in practice. Basic information on awards was publicly available. The Central African Republic’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: publishing end-of-year reports; providing more detail on allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in budget documents; and having the supreme audit institution publish audit reports of the government’s annual financial statements within a reasonable period of time.

Chad: The budget was publicly available through Ministry of Finance offices, and some documents were published online. The government did not publish end-of-year reports. The budget did not include all revenues and expenditures. The budget did not include all foreign aid. Significant state-owned enterprises did not have audited accounts. The government maintained off-budget accounts not subject to audit or oversight. The supreme audit institution did not produce publicly available reports. The process used to award natural resource extraction contracts and licenses did not always appear to be consistent with the procedural requirements set by law. Chad’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: publishing end-of-year reports; including all revenues and expenditures in the budget; publishing audit reports for significant state-owned enterprises’ accounts; making supreme audit institution reports publicly available; eliminating off-budget accounts or subjecting them to audit and oversight; and adhering to the process for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses as set out in applicable laws.

China: During the review period, although China’s budget was widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online, the government did not make budget documents publicly available within a reasonable period of time. For example, an executive budget proposal was not publicly available before the budget was enacted. Budget documents did not identify financial allocations to state-owned enterprises, and not all significant state-owned enterprises controlled by the central government had publicly available audited accounts. The supreme audit institution audited the government’s annual financial statements and its reports were publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts was outlined in law or regulation and generally appeared to be followed in practice. Basic information on awards was publicly available. China’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: publishing the executive budget proposal ahead of the budget’s enactment; detailing financial allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in the budget; and publishing audit reports for significant state-owned enterprises.

Comoros: During the review period, while the government made its enacted budget and end-of-year reports widely and easily accessible to the general public online, it did not publish an executive budget proposal. The budget was substantially complete. The budget was generally reliable, although targets have been consistently missed through overspending or shortfalls in revenue collection. The supreme audit institution did not publish audit reports of the government’s annual financial statements. The process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts was outlined in law or regulation. The process actually used to award contracts appeared to be broadly consistent with law. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Comoros’ fiscal transparency would be improved by making the executive budget proposal publicly available, publishing up-to-date debt information, and ensuring the supreme audit institution conducts audits of the government’s annual financial statements and makes its reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.

Congo, Democratic Republic of the: During the review period, budget documents were publicly available, but end-of-year reports were not publicly available within a reasonable period of time. Budget documents did not specifically identify allocations to state-owned enterprises and the government reportedly maintained off-budget accounts not subject to audit or oversight. Military and intelligence budgets did not appear to be subject to civilian oversight. Budget execution varied considerably from the enacted budget and revised budgets were not made public in a timely manner. The supreme audit institution’s reports of the government’s annual financial statements were publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The process for awarding natural resource contracts was specified in law, but did not appear to be consistently followed in practice. The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: publishing end-of-year reports within a reasonable period of time; including all revenues and expenditures in the budget at an appropriate level of detail; specifically identifying allocations to state-owned enterprises in the budget and making audited financial statements publicly available for significant state-owned enterprises; subjecting off-budget accounts to audit and oversight; ensuring greater civilian oversight of military and intelligence budgets; and publishing revised budget estimates in a timely manner. In addition, fiscal transparency would be improved by consistently following the law in practice with regard to awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses.

Congo, Republic of the: During the review period, the government made only its enacted budget widely and easily accessible, including online, to the general public. Information on debt obligations lacked detail. Budget information was incomplete. Allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises were not included in the budget, and the government maintained off-budget accounts not subject to audit and oversight. Information in the budget has regularly contained discrepancies without explanation. The supreme audit institution audited the government’s annual financial statements, and its reports were published within a reasonable period of time. The process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts was outlined in law or regulation, but there have been reports of inconsistent application of applicable regulations. The Republic of the Congo’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: making its executive budget proposal and end-of-year reports widely and easily accessible to the general public; enhancing the completeness and reliability of budget reporting; disclosing details of debt obligations; providing a more comprehensive accounting of off-budget accounts and subjecting such accounts to audit and oversight; detailing allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in budget documents; and increasing transparency in natural resource extraction awards.

Djibouti: During the review period, the government posted shortened versions of some key budget documents online. However, the government did not publish its enacted budget for almost a year. Budget documents were not substantially complete. Some ministries maintained off-budget accounts not subject to audit and information on debt obligations was not always publicly available. Budget information was not considered reliable. Ministries have been able to change the use of funds without approval or oversight. Budget execution reports and any budget revisions were not public. Although the supreme audit institution had a mandate to audit the government’s annual budget execution, its reports were not publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The government has not yet adopted – but was in the process of drafting – laws and procedures governing the process for awarding natural resource extraction contracts or licenses. Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available. Djibouti’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: publishing budget documents and audit reports within a reasonable period of time; including all revenues and expenditures in the budget; producing more credible and reliable budget data; publishing budget execution reports and revised budgets; and adopting laws and procedures to govern the process for awarding contracts and licenses for natural resource extraction.

Ecuador: During the review period, budget documents were publicly available, though complete information on debt obligations, including oil-for-loan agreements, was not publicly available. Budget documents were otherwise substantially complete and generally reliable. The supreme audit institution audited the government’s annual financial statements and its reports were publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts was outlined in law, but basic information on awards was not publicly available, so it is difficult to assess whether procedures used in practice to award licenses and contracts were consistent with law. Ecuador’s fiscal transparency would be improved by publishing complete information on its debt obligations and making basic information on natural resource extraction licenses and contracts publicly available.

Egypt: During the review period, budget documents were generally publicly available, but the government did not publish its executive budget proposal. The government maintained off-budget accounts that were not publicly disclosed or subject to audit. The budget did not include allocations to military state-owned enterprises and parliament did not have oversight over the military budget during the review period. (While military and intelligence budgets are normally subject to parliamentary oversight, there was no seated parliament during the review period). The information in the budget was generally considered reliable and the government published monthly execution reports. Audit reports from the supreme audit institution were not public. The independence of the supreme audit institution was not assured. The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards natural resource contracts or licenses were specified in law, and appeared to be broadly followed in practice. The government has not consistently made basic information on such awards public. Egypt’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: publishing the executive budget proposal within a reasonable period of time; describing all revenues and expenditures in the budget, including those for off-budget accounts, executive offices, and allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises; ensuring military and intelligence budgets are subject to civilian oversight; ensuring that an independent supreme audit institution carries out audits of the government’s annual financial statements and makes its reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time; and consistently making basic information on natural resource extraction awards publicly available.

Ethiopia: During the review period, the government made its enacted budget available to the general public online, but the executive budget proposal was not published and end-of-year reports were not published within a reasonable period of time. Budget documents did not reflect expenditures on major projects under the Growth and Transformation Plan, Ethiopia’s five-year development plan. Not all allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises were included in the budget and only some significant state-owned enterprises had publicly available audited financial statements. While budget information was generally reliable, the government did not publish budget execution reports. The supreme audit institution audited the government’s annual financial statements, and its reports were publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The criteria and process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts were outlined in law or regulation and considered to be generally followed in practice. Basic information on awards was not always publicly available. Ethiopia’s fiscal transparency would be improved by making its executive budget proposal, budget execution reports, and end-of-year reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time; ensuring its budget is complete; identifying allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in the budget and increasing the public availability of audit reports for significant state-owned enterprises; and making basic information about natural resource awards publicly available.

Gabon: During the review period, the government did not publish an executive budget proposal or end-of-year reports, and published only general information on debt obligations. The government published the enacted budget and a revised budget, but these budget documents were not substantially complete. Budget documents lacked detail on expenditures by individual ministries, and audit reports were not publicly available for state-owned enterprises and off-budget accounts. Budget documents were not reliable. The government did not make budget execution reports publicly available, and Gabon did not have a functioning supreme audit institution. The process by which the government awards contracts and licenses for natural resource extraction was opaque, and basic terms of awards were not generally publicly available. Gabon’s fiscal transparency would be improved by making substantially complete and reliable budget documents publicly available; establishing a functioning supreme audit institution that conducts and makes audit reports of the government’s annual financial statements publicly available within a reasonable period of time; specifying in law or regulation the process by which the government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction; and making the basic terms of awarded licenses and contracts publicly available.

Gambia, The: During the review period, the enacted budget and end-of-year reports were only made available to National Assembly members. The budget session at the National Assembly was open to the public. The fiscal year 2016 executive budget proposal was published online in December 2015. Revenues from natural resource extraction and military and intelligence expenditures were not included in the budget. The supreme audit institution was responsible for auditing the government’s annual executed budget, but it did not publish audit reports within a reasonable period of time. The process by which the government awards natural resource contracts or licenses was not specified in law, nor was basic information about awards publicly available. The Gambia’s fiscal transparency would be improved by improving public access to budget documents, including all revenues and expenditures in the budget, subjecting off-budget accounts to audit and oversight, and increasing the capacity of the supreme audit institution to produce timely and publicly available audit reports. Fiscal transparency would also be improved by specifying in law and regulation the process and criteria for the award of natural resource extraction contracts and licenses, following the law in practice, and making basic information about awards publicly available.

Guinea: During the review period, the government began making budget summaries available on the Ministry of Finance website. It distributed paper copies, on a limited basis, of the enacted budget that included supporting annexes. Information on debt obligations was available but incomplete. Budget documents lacked sufficient detail, with the exception of revenues from natural resource extraction. Information included in the budget was generally considered reliable; however, Guinea did not have a supreme audit institution during the review period and, therefore, no audits of the government’s annual financial statements were publicly available. Budget documents were not prepared according to internationally accepted principles that yield consistent and comparable statements. During the review period, the government provided extra-budgetary loan guarantees that were not authorized via the budget process. The process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts was outlined in the mining code, and basic information on the awards was publicly available, though it appears the law has been applied inconsistently. Guinea’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: making full budget documents widely and easily accessible to the public within a reasonable period of time; ensuring publicly available budget documents contain sufficient detail; preparing budget documents according to internationally accepted principles that yield consistent and comparable statements; establishing an independent supreme audit institution; and publishing an audit of the government’s annual budget. Guinea should apply laws on natural resource contracting and licensing consistently.

Guinea-Bissau: During the review period, the budget was only available in hard copy and has been difficult to obtain in practice. To the extent budget documents (such as the executive budget proposal and enacted budget) were available, they were not disseminated within a reasonable period of time. The government did not publish end-of-year reports. The budget broke down expenditures by ministry and revenues by source and type, but did not include allocations to or earnings from state-owned enterprises. The government maintained an off-budget account for the promotion of agricultural products that has not been subject to adequate oversight. The supreme audit institution did not audit the executed budget. The process by which the government awards natural resource contracts or licenses was specified in law, but basic information on awarded contracts and licenses was not publicly available, and the process has not always been considered consistent with the law. Guinea-Bissau’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: improving public access to the budget; including all expenditures and revenues in the budget, including allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises; increasing audit and oversight of off-budget accounts; having the supreme audit institution audit the budget and make its reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time; and increasing transparency in natural resource extraction contracting and licensing.

Haiti: During the review period, Haiti published its enacted budget, but not its executive budget proposal. The government did not publish end-of-year reports. Budget documents were neither substantially complete nor reliable. Natural resource revenues were not identified by source or type. Allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises were not clearly included in the budget. Significant state-owned enterprises did not have audited accounts that were either provided to an oversight body or made publicly available. The supreme audit institution did not make audit reports publicly available. The criteria and process for allocating licenses and contracts for natural resource extraction were outlined in law but have apparently been inconsistently applied. Basic information on natural resource extraction contracts and licenses was rarely publicly available. Haiti’s fiscal transparency would be improved by making its executive budget proposal and end-of-year reports widely and easily accessible to the general public within a reasonable period of time; clearly identifying natural resource revenues and allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in the budget; making audited financial statements publicly available for significant state-owned enterprises; making supreme audit institution audit reports publicly available; consistently adhering to the legal criteria and procedures for natural resource contracting and licensing in practice; and making basic information on natural resource contracts and licenses publicly available.

Iraq: Iraq made significant progress during the review period by publishing its executive budget proposal and enacted budget. Iraq made its executive budget proposal and enacted budget widely and easily accessible to the general public online, but did not publish end-of-year reports. Limited details regarding debt obligations were publicly available. Available budget documents provided limited details regarding allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises, and audit reports for significant state-owned enterprises were not publicly available. The government maintained off-budget accounts subject to limited oversight. The information in the budget was considered reliable and reasonably accurate at the time it was produced, but was not adjusted to changing circumstances, and thus often did not correspond to actual revenues and expenditures. Audit reports from the supreme audit institution were not publicly available. The national government has awarded natural resource contracts or licenses as guided by Article 111 of the Iraqi constitution; however, in the absence of implementing laws and regulations, the criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction contacts and licenses have been unclear. Iraq’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: publishing end-of-year reports; ensuring budget documents are complete and reliable, with details of allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises; producing and publishing audit reports of the government’s annual financial statements and significant state-owned enterprises; and specifying more concretely in law or regulation the process for awarding natural resource contracts and licenses and following the law in practice.

Laos: During the review period, limited budget documents were available to the public. These did not provide detailed information about the government’s revenues and expenditures, including allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises and revenues from natural resources. The government did not publish budget execution reports and the supreme audit institution did not publicly release audit reports of the government’s annual financial accounts. The process by which the national government awards natural resource contracts or licenses was specified in law. Basic information on awards was publicly available. A moratorium on awards has been in effect since 2012. Laos’ fiscal transparency would be improved by making its executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year reports widely and easily accessible to the general public within a reasonable period of time; using the Internet to allow the public free access to budget documents; increasing detail in budget documents on revenues and expenditures; publishing budget execution reports; and ensuring that the supreme audit institution audits the government’s annual financial statements and makes its reports public within a reasonable period of time.

Lebanon: The government last published a proposed budget in 2012. Each year since then, the Ministry of Finance has presented an annual budget proposal to the cabinet, with the 2016 budget proposal being the last one sent to the cabinet. All of these budget proposals remained pending in the cabinet. As a result, Lebanon’s budget was not available to the public and there was no substantially full picture of Lebanon’s expenditures and revenue streams. Details regarding allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises were limited. Military and intelligence budgets were supplemented by assistance from private sources; such contributions were not captured in available budget documents and were not subject to oversight. The information in the budget was not considered reliable and reasonably accurate, and did not correspond to actual revenues and expenditures. Despite auditing the government’s financial statements, the supreme audit institution did not make audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The process by which the national government expects to award natural resource contracts or licenses was specified in proposed decrees awaiting approval by the cabinet. Lebanon’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: publishing an executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year reports that are substantially complete and correspond to actual expenditures and revenue streams, including allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises; including all military revenue sources and expenditures in budget documents; and making supreme audit institution audit reports publicly available.

Liberia: During the review period, budget documents were available to the general public, including online. Foreign assistance was not adequately captured in the budget, and was not subject to the same audit and oversight as other budget items. The information in publicly available budget documents was generally reliable, though the supreme audit institution’s audit reports were not publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The criteria and process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts were outlined in law or regulation and basic information on awards was publicly available, though there have been reports of corruption and inconsistent application of regulations. Liberia’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: ensuring the budget is substantially complete; making supreme audit institution audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time; and ensuring the process used to award natural resource extraction contracts and licenses is consistent with the requirements set by law or regulation.

Libya: Internal political conflict has prevented the Libyan government from implementing its budget processes and has adversely impacted fiscal transparency. During the review period, the budget was not accessible to the public. Information on debt obligations was not publicly available. Budget documents, which were the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance but prepared by the Central Bank of Libya, were not substantially complete; they lacked sufficient detail. Significant state-owned enterprises had audited accounts, but audit reports were not publicly available. Budget documents did not include information on the Libyan Investment Authority. Competing government structures make it difficult to assess the reliability of budget documents. The supreme audit institution was required by law to audit the budget, but its reports have not been consistently published, and it is unclear if audits were conducted during the review period. The criteria and process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts were outlined in law or regulation and generally appear to have been followed in practice. The basic terms of awards were public. Libya’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: publishing complete and reliable budget documents, as well as information on debt obligations, its sovereign wealth fund, and state-owned enterprises; subjecting military and intelligence budgets to civilian oversight; and ensuring the supreme audit institution audits the government’s annual financial statements and makes its reports public.

Madagascar: During the review period, the executive budget proposal and enacted budget were available to the general public online. The government did not publish end-of-year reports within a reasonable period of time. Budget documents were not sufficiently complete and contained gaps, including details on natural resource revenues and transfers to and from state-owned enterprises. Information contained in budget documents was generally reliable, but the supreme audit institution did not make audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The criteria and process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts were outlined in law, though the process used to award contracts and licenses did not always appear to be consistent with those requirements. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Madagascar’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: making end-of-year reports widely and easily accessible to the general public within a reasonable period of time; providing greater detail in the budget on revenues from natural resources and allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises; publishing audit reports within a reasonable period of time; and ensuring the process for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses as set out in applicable laws is followed in practice.

Malawi: During the review period, budget documents were available to the public. Available budget documents provided a substantially full picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, including revenues from natural resources. The reliability of information in the budget was weakened by the fact that the government did not provide financial statements to the supreme audit institution within a reasonable period of time and, as a result, the supreme audit institution’s audit of the government’s annual financial accounts continued to be delayed. While the criteria and process by which the national government awards natural resource contracts were specified in law, the process actually used to award contracts has not always appeared to be consistent with law or regulation. Basic information about awards was not always publicly available. Malawi’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: providing government year-end financial statements to the supreme audit institution more promptly; adhering to the process for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses as set out in applicable laws; and making basic information on natural resource extraction awards publicly available.

Maldives: During the review period, the Maldives’ budget and information on debt obligations were accessible to the public, including online, though end-of-year reports were not publicly available. The budget was substantially complete. While the budget was considered generally reliable, budget execution reports were not publicly available. The Maldives’ supreme audit institution was mandated to review the government’s consolidated financial statements, but its audit reports were not publicly available. The Maldives did not have a natural resource extraction sector. The Maldives’ fiscal transparency would be improved by making end-of-year reports, budget execution reports, and audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.

Mali: Mali made significant progress during the review period by eliminating or consolidating off-budget accounts and producing a report on off-budget spending. The government did not make its executive budget proposal available to the public prior to enactment of the budget. While the budget was mostly complete, the government maintained off-budget accounts. The information in the budget was considered reliable. The supreme audit institution audited the government’s annual financial statements, and audit reports were publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The process and criteria for allocating licenses and contracts for natural resource extraction were outlined in law, and the process used in practice generally appeared to be consistent with the law. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Mali’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: publishing budget documents within a reasonable period of time; eliminating off-budget accounts; and ensuring budget documents are substantially complete.

Mauritania: During the review period, budget documents were widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online. Budget documents were substantially complete. The information in budget documents was generally reliable, though budget documents were not prepared in a fashion yielding consistent or comparable statements. The supreme audit institution has not published an audit report since 2010. The criteria and process by which the government awards natural resource contracts or licenses were specified in law or regulations, but there have been reports of inconsistent application of applicable regulations. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Mauritania’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: publishing budgets that adhere to internationally accepted principles that yield consistent and comparable statements; publishing audit reports within a reasonable period of time; and ensuring the process used to award natural resource extraction contracts and licenses is consistent with the procedural requirements set by law or regulation.

Moldova: During the review period, budget documents were publicly available, but the government did not publish its executive budget proposal before the budget was enacted. Budget documents lacked completeness and reliability. Budget execution deviated significantly from the enacted budget during the review period and the government did not issue revised budget estimates or a supplementary budget. The process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts was outlined in law; no awards were made during the review period. Moldova’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: making its executive budget proposal widely and easily accessible to the general public within a reasonable period of time; improving the completeness and reliability of budget documents; and publicly issuing revised budgets in the event budget execution deviates significantly from budget projections.

Mozambique: During the review period, budget documents were publicly available, but the government did not publish sufficient data about debt obligations or state-owned enterprises. The government maintained off-budget accounts not subject to adequate audit or oversight. The supreme audit institution conducted financial audits of a sample of government institutions, and its reports were publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The process and criteria for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts were outlined in law and have generally been followed in practice. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Mozambique’s fiscal transparency would be improved by publishing more information on debt obligations, ensuring significant state-owned enterprises are subject to audit, and subjecting off-budget accounts to adequate audit and oversight.

Nicaragua: During the review period, budget documents were widely and easily accessible to the general public, but they did not provide a substantially complete picture of revenues and expenditures. The government has not publicly accounted for the expenditure of significant off-budget assistance from Venezuela and this assistance has not been subject to audit or legislative oversight. Allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises were included in the budget, but most state-owned enterprises have not been audited. Information in the budget was generally considered reliable, but the supreme audit institution did not audit the government’s full financial statements. The process for allocating licenses and contracts for natural resource extraction was outlined in law, though it is unclear whether the process used in practice to make awards has been consistent with the law. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Nicaragua’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: including all off-budget revenue and expenditure in the budget; auditing state-owned enterprises and making audit reports public; and conducting a full audit of the government’s annual financial statements and making audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.

Niger: During the review period, budget documents were publicly available, including online. However, budget documents were incomplete due to a lack of detail on revenues and expenditures, allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises, revenues from natural resources, and debt associated with natural resources. Expenditures made using administrative revenue were not included in the budget. Budget documents lacked reliability. Audit reports of the government’s annual financial statements from the supreme audit institution were publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The criteria and process for allocating licenses and contracts for natural resource extraction were outlined in law, though apparently have not been consistently followed in practice. The actual process and criteria for making awards were not always transparent. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Niger’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: providing more complete and detailed information on revenues, expenditures, and debt obligations in budget documents; and ensuring the criteria and process for awarding natural resource contracts and licenses are more transparent and followed in practice.

Nigeria: Nigeria made significant progress during the review period by passing a supplementary budget to reflect actual spending on fuel subsidies, which have historically been underestimated; and beginning the publication of a monthly financial and operations report for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria’s state-owned oil company. While Nigeria’s budget was publicly available, including online, budget documents lacked information on some revenue and expenditures, and on allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises. NNPC has not made fully audited financial reports available to the public, though during the review period the government did release a qualified, limited-scope, third-party forensic audit of NNPC. The government maintained off-budget accounts not subject to audit. The information in budget documents was generally considered reliable, but Nigeria’s supreme audit institution did not publish a comprehensive audit of the annual executed budget. The criteria and process for awarding natural resource contracts or licenses were specified in law and regulation and generally followed in practice, and basic information on awarded exploration licenses in the oil sector was publicly available. Nigeria’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: providing more detailed reporting on revenues; subjecting off-budget accounts to adequate audit and oversight and making information on such accounts publicly available; making full audit reports for significant state-owned enterprises publicly available; and making audit reports of the government’s annual financial statements public.

Oman: During the review period, the government made its enacted budget widely and easily accessible to the public within a reasonable period of time. It did not publish an executive budget proposal and end-of-year reports were not publicly available within a reasonable period of time. Publicly available budget documents lacked sufficient detail and did not include allocations to the royal family. The government maintained off-budget accounts not subject to audit or oversight. The government did not issue revised budgets and the supreme audit institution did not audit the government’s annual financial statements. The process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts was outlined in law. While the criteria for making awards were not generally public, bidders have been informed about the criteria for awards through the bidding process, and the bidding process has not been widely seen as flawed or susceptible to corruption. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Oman’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: making its executive budget proposal and end-of-year reports widely and easily accessible to the general public within a reasonable period of time; adding more detail to the budget, including by detailing allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises; including expenditures for the royal family in the budget; subjecting off-budget accounts to audit and oversight and making information on such accounts publicly available; and having the supreme audit institution audit the government’s annual executed budget and make its reports public. The government should make its criteria for natural resource extraction awards publicly available.

Pakistan: During the review period, budget documents were widely and easily accessible to the public, and provided a substantially complete picture of most revenues and expenditures, but the budget of the intelligence agencies was not subject to parliamentary or other civilian oversight. The budget was considered generally reliable and subject to audit by the supreme audit institution; however, audit reports were not publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The criteria and process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts were outlined in law and have generally appeared to be followed in practice. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Pakistan’s fiscal transparency would be improved by subjecting the intelligence agencies’ budget to parliamentary or other civilian oversight and by making the supreme audit institution’s audit of the government’s annual financial statements publicly available within a reasonable period of time.

Palestinian Authority: During the review period, budget documents were generally publicly available, but the government did not publish its executive budget proposal, nor did it publish the enacted budget within a reasonable period of time. The government did not publish end-of-year reports within a reasonable period of time. Budget documents provided a substantially full picture of the Palestinian Authority’s planned expenditures and revenue streams. The information in the budget was considered reliable and reasonably accurate. The supreme audit institution lacked independence, and its audit reports of the government’s annual financial statements were not publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The Palestinian Authority did not receive any revenues from natural resource extraction during the review period. The Palestinian Authority’s fiscal transparency would be improved by publishing budget documents and supreme audit institution audit reports within a reasonable period of time; and increasing the independence of the supreme audit institution.

Papua New Guinea: During the review period, Papua New Guinea’s budget and information on debt obligations were publicly available. Information in the budget was substantially complete. The government produced monthly and quarterly budget execution reports, but did not make them publicly available. The supreme audit institution has not audited the government’s entire executed budget, and complete audit reports were not publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The criteria and procedures for making natural resource extraction awards were not entirely specified in law, regulation, or other public documents. The process actually used to award natural resource contracts and licenses has sometimes appeared to be based on discretion and precedent rather than on defined legal procedures. It is unclear whether the basic terms of all natural resource extraction awards were publicly available. Papua New Guinea’s fiscal transparency would be improved by publishing budget execution reports; ensuring the supreme audit institution publishes complete audit reports of the government’s financial statements within a reasonable period of time; ensuring there are defined legal procedures, which are followed in practice for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts; and publishing basic information regarding all natural resource extraction awards.

Sao Tome & Principe: During the review period, the government published only the executive budget proposal and the enacted budget. The executive budget proposal was published well after the budget’s adoption, thus the public did not have any opportunity to review the budget before its enactment. Information in published budget documents was substantially complete. While the information in budget documents appeared reliable, budget documents were not prepared according to internationally accepted principles that yield consistent and comparable statements. Audit reports from the supreme audit institution were not publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts was outlined in law or regulation and has appeared to be broadly followed in practice. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Sao Tome & Principe’s fiscal transparency would be improved by making all budget documents and audit reports widely and easily accessible to the public within a reasonable period of time, and ensuring budget documents are prepared to yield consistent and comparable statements.

Saudi Arabia: During the review period, the government did not make budget documents publicly available. The limited data available in the government’s annual budget statement did not break down expenditures by ministry or agency. The annual budget statement did not show allocations to the royal family or Council of Ministers, and the government maintained off-budget accounts. The government did not make budget execution reports available to the public, and there have often been significant departures from planned expenditures and revenues not disclosed until the release of the annual budget statement. Supreme audit institution reports were not publicly available. Rules and regulations for contracting and licensing in upstream oil were not publicly available. The process actually used to award contracts has appeared to be broadly consistent with the procedural requirements set by publicly available tender announcements. Basic information on natural resource contracts and licenses was publicly available. Saudi Arabia’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: making widely and easily accessible detailed, complete, and reliable budget documents; making supreme audit institution reports publicly available; and making rules and regulations for contracting and licensing in upstream oil publicly available.

Seychelles: During the review period, the government released a budget speech, but published neither an enacted budget nor end-of-year reports. Limited information on debt obligations was publicly available. Budget information was incomplete. The budget did not break down expenditures by ministry or revenues by source and type. State-owned enterprises were subject to audit, and audit reports were publicly available. The government did not publish budget execution reports. The supreme audit institution’s audit reports of the government’s annual financial statements were publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The criteria and process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts were outlined in law or regulation and have generally appeared to be followed in practice. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Seychelles’ fiscal transparency would be improved by: providing more complete information on expenditures, debt obligations, and budget execution; and making the enacted budget and end-of-year reports widely and easily accessible to the general public within a reasonable period of time.

Somalia: The government made significant progress during the review period by publishing some budget documents online, including a revised budget for fiscal year 2015. However, not all budget documents were publicly available within a reasonable period of time. Information on debt obligations was not publicly available. Budget documents were not substantially complete and some ministries maintained off-budget accounts not subject to audit. The government published revised budget estimates and a mid-year execution report during the review period, increasing the credibility of information in budget documents. The supreme audit institution did not make its reports public. It does not appear the government has consistently followed procedures in awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses. Basic information on awards was not publicly available. Somalia’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: making all budget documents widely and easily accessible to the general public within a reasonable period of time; including all revenues and expenditures in the budget; producing and making audit reports publicly available; awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses consistent with law or regulation; and making basic information on such awards publicly available.

South Sudan: During the review period, the government did not make its executive budget proposal or end-of-year reports publicly available. It published its enacted budget online. Budget documents were not substantially complete. Allocations to and earnings from Nile Petroleum Corporation, South Sudan’s national oil company, were not described in budget documents, and no audited accounts were publicly available. There were credible reports of significant off-budget revenues, including those from natural resources, as well as off-budget expenditures. Information in budget documents was not reliable. Ministries, agencies, and departments have consistently overspent or underspent their budgets, and the government has not issued revised budget estimates. The government did not work with the supreme audit institution to make comprehensive audits of the government’s financial accounts available to the public with a reasonable period of time. The criteria and process for allocating licenses and contracts for natural resource extraction were outlined in law but apparently have not been followed in practice. Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was not publicly available. South Sudan’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: publishing a comprehensive and reliable executive budget proposal in advance of the budget’s enactment; issuing reliable end-of-year reports within a reasonable period of time; publishing financial audit reports for Nile Petroleum Company; bringing off-budget expenditures and revenues on budget; improving budget reliability; publishing audit reports of the government’s annual financial statements; ensuring the consistent application of applicable laws and procedures in awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses; and making basic information on natural resource extraction awards publicly available.

Sudan: During the review period, budget documents and information on debt obligations were made available only upon request. The government did not publish end-of-year reports. Budget documents were not substantially complete. Information in the budget was limited and budgets did not include some sources of revenue. The budget did not adequately describe allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises, and some significant state-owned enterprises did not have publicly available audited accounts. The government maintained off-budget accounts. Information in the budget was not reliable, and there have been reports of significant underreporting of expenditures and revenues in the budget, including the military and intelligence budgets. The supreme audit institution did not make its reports public. The process by which the government awards natural resource contracts and licenses was specified in law. However, the process actually used to award contracts has not always appeared to be consistent with the requirements of the law. Sudan’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: making budget documents widely and easily accessible to the general public; including all expenditures and revenues in its budget; eliminating off-budget accounts or subjecting them to full audit and oversight; auditing all significant state-owned enterprises and making such audit reports public; ensuring the supreme audit institution audits the government’s annual financial statements; publishing audit reports; and adhering to the process for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses set out in law.

Suriname: During the review period, the enacted budget was publicly available, but the executive budget proposal and end-of-year reports were not. Budget documents lacked sufficient detail on allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises. The information in the budget was not considered fully reliable. The government reviewed budget execution through the course of the year, but did not make budget execution reports publicly available. Suriname’s supreme audit institution has not conducted audits in several years. The process by which the government awards natural resource contracts and licenses was specified in law and has apparently been broadly followed in practice. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Suriname’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: publishing its executive budget proposal and end-of-year reports; increasing detail on allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises in the budget; making budget execution reports publicly available; and completing audits of the government’s annual financial statements and publishing audit reports within a reasonable period of time.

Swaziland: During the review period, budget documents were available to the general public, including online. While budget documents provided a general picture of government revenues and expenditures, revenues from natural resources and land leases were not included in the budget. Expenditures to support the royal family, military, police, and correctional services were included in the budget, but lacked detail and were not subject to the same oversight as the rest of the budget. The supreme audit institution’s reports of the government’s annual financial statements were publicly available within a reasonable period of time, though some budget items have not been subject to audit. The criteria and process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts were outlined in law. Basic information on awards was not always publicly available. The process actually used to award licenses and contracts has apparently been broadly consistent with the law or regulation, though the process has consisted of submitting applications for licenses directly to the king. Fiscal transparency in Swaziland would be improved by: providing more detail on expenditures and revenues in the budget, particularly natural resource revenues and expenditures of the royal family; subjecting the entire budget to audit and oversight; and making basic information on natural resource extraction awards publicly available.

Tajikistan: During the review period, the executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and information on debt obligations were accessible to the public, including online. End-of-year reports were not publicly available within a reasonable period of time. Publicly available budget documents were not substantially complete. Public budget documents did not break down expenditures by ministry or agency, or revenues by source. Budget documents did not identify allocations to or earnings from state-owned enterprises, nor did they identify revenue from natural resources. Publicly available budget information was considered generally reliable. Only summary information of the supreme audit institution’s reports of the government’s accounts was publicly available. The process for allocating licenses and contracts for natural resource extraction was outlined in law. Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was not publicly available, making it difficult to assess if procedures for awards have been followed in practice. Tajikistan’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: making end-of-year reports accessible to the general public within a reasonable period of time; providing substantially complete and reliable information in publicly available documents; and making full audit reports publicly available. Fiscal transparency would further be improved by making basic information on natural resource extraction contracts and licenses publicly available.

Tanzania: Tanzania made significant progress during the review period by publishing, for the first time, a consolidated end-of-year report online within a reasonable period of time. While budget documents outlining expenditures were available online, there was no comprehensive budget outlining revenues online. The complete budget was only available in the Parliamentary Library in Dodoma and the Ministry of Finance in Dar es Salaam, which are not easily accessible by most Tanzanians. The information in budget documents was generally reliable. The supreme audit institution’s reports of the government’s annual financial accounts were publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The process for allocating licenses and contracts for natural resource extraction was outlined in law and appeared to be followed in practice. Tanzania’s fiscal transparency would be improved by making complete budget information widely and easily accessible to the general public.

Tonga: During the review period, the government did not make an executive budget proposal available to the public before the budget was enacted. Tonga’s enacted budget, end-of-year reports, and information on debt obligations were available to the public, including online. The budget was substantially complete and considered generally reliable. Tonga’s supreme audit institution reviewed the government’s accounts and budget execution, and made its reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The process for allocating licenses and contracts for natural resource extraction was outlined in law and has apparently been followed in practice. Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was public. Tonga’s fiscal transparency would be improved by making its executive budget proposal available to the public before enactment of the budget.

Turkmenistan: During the review period, Turkmenistan published aggregate expenditure and revenue data in its state-run newspaper, but budget documents and information on debt obligations were not made public. Publicly available budget information only included total revenue and expenditure information, and did not include information on expenditures by ministries or details on revenue sources, allocations to or earnings from state-owned enterprises, or revenues from natural resources. Information on the government’s off-budget stabilization fund was not publicly available. Given the lack of availability of budget documents, the budget’s reliability cannot be assessed. Turkmenistan’s supreme audit institution did not make its reports publicly available despite reviewing the government’s financial statements. Its independence was questionable. The laws and regulations for allocating licenses and contracts for natural resource extraction did not fully detail the conditions and procedures for issuing licenses and contracts. Therefore, it is difficult to verify whether awards have been made in a fashion consistent with laws and regulations. Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was not always publicly available. Turkmenistan’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: making budget documents and independent audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time; ensuring these documents are substantially complete and reliable; disclosing proceeds from the sale of oil and natural gas; and fully outlining the process for allocating natural resource extraction licenses and contracts in law or regulation, following this process in practice, and making basic information on awards publicly available.

Ukraine: Ukraine made significant progress during the review period by beginning to publish audit reports of the government’s annual financial statements covering revenues as well as expenditures, and enacting and implementing a new law to increase the transparency of off-budget accounts. Budget documents and information on debt obligations were widely and easily accessible to the general public, including online. Budget documents provided a mostly full picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams. However, four large social insurance funds were not included in the budget and revenue generated by state-owned natural resource producers has been underreported. Auditing of significant state-owned enterprises has been uneven, with only some audited financial statements for these enterprises made public. Increases in allocations to state-owned enterprises have been common and substantial, affecting the reliability of the adopted budget. The process for awarding natural resource extraction licenses and contracts was outlined in law, but there has been anecdotal evidence that corruption persists in making these awards. The government has begun publishing basic information on awards. Ukraine’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: including all expenditures and revenues in the budget; making audit reports for off-budget accounts publicly available; making additional audit reports for significant state-owned enterprises publicly available; and ensuring that laws and procedures for natural resource licensing and contracting are followed in practice.

Uzbekistan: During the review period, Uzbekistan published summary budget execution reports and an abstract of the enacted budget, but other budget documents and information on debt obligations were not made public. Publicly available budget documents were not substantially complete. Budget documents did not include expenditures by ministry or information on allocations to or earnings from state-owned enterprises. Detailed information on natural resource revenues and the government’s off-budget accounts was not publicly available. Uzbekistan’s supreme audit institution had a legal mandate to review the government’s annual budget execution but its reports were not publicly available. The government’s criteria and procedures for awarding natural resource extraction contracts and licenses lacked details, though existing legislation provided for application procedures. Basic information on awards was not always publicly available. Uzbekistan’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: making budget documents and audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time; ensuring publicly available budget documents are substantially complete and reliable; fully outlining the criteria and process for allocating natural resource extraction licenses and contracts in law or regulation and adhering to these procedures in practice; and making basic information about awards publicly available.

Vietnam: Although Vietnam’s budget and information on debt obligations were generally accessible to the public, including online, the government did not publish its executive budget proposal within a reasonable period of time. This year’s assessment clarified that the executive budget proposal was not available to the public at the same time it was presented for the National Assembly’s approval. The public was permitted to review and comment on budget implementation estimates (the preliminary numbers within the proposed budget), but the public did not have an opportunity to view the executive budget proposal before the budget was enacted. During the review period, Vietnam took an important step toward timely publication of the executive budget proposal by approving new legislation that, once fully implemented, aims to provide the public with an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed budget ahead of its enactment. The budget was substantially complete and considered generally reliable. Vietnam’s supreme audit institution reviewed the government’s accounts and budget execution, and its reports were publicly available. The process for allocating licenses and contracts for natural resource extraction was outlined in law, and has generally appeared to be followed in practice. Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was public. Vietnam’s fiscal transparency would be improved by publishing its executive budget proposal before the budget is enacted.

Yemen: During a period of significant internal political conflict, the government did not fully implement its budget processes. During the review period, only the enacted budget was publicly available. The government published limited information on debt obligations. While the information in budget documents was substantially complete, it was not considered reliable. The supreme audit institution did not conduct an audit of the government’s annual financial statements. The process by which the government awards natural resource contracts or licenses was specified in law, but there have been reports of inconsistent application of applicable regulations. Basic information on awards was publicly available. Yemen’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: making additional budget documents available to the public within a reasonable period of time; publishing timely data on debt obligations; ensuring budget documents are reliable; producing and publishing audit reports of the government’s annual financial statements within a reasonable period of time; and ensuring the process used to award natural resource extraction contracts and licenses is consistent with the procedural requirements set by law or regulation.

Zimbabwe: During the review period, the executive budget proposal was publicly available, but the enacted budget and end-of-year reports were not. Budget documents did not include a substantially complete picture of revenue streams, including natural resource revenues. The information in budget documents has not always been reliable, though the government did pass and make public a supplemental budget during the review period. The intelligence budget was not part of the public budget, and there were no procedures in place to permit parliamentary review of the intelligence budget. Despite the supreme audit institution auditing the government’s annual financial statements, audit and oversight for presidential expenditures were insufficient, and the supreme audit institution’s reports were not publicly available within a reasonable period of time. The process and criteria by which the government awards natural resource contracts or licenses were specified in law. Processes followed in practice appear to have been broadly consistent with the law, except in the diamond sector, where there have been concerns about the transparency of the application of the criteria for awards. Basic information about mining concessions has not been publicly available. Zimbabwe’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: publishing the enacted budget and end-of-year reports; detailing more fully its revenues and expenditures, including revenues from state-owned enterprises and natural resources; allowing greater parliamentary oversight over the intelligence budget; and making supreme audit institution reports of the government’s entire executed budget publicly available within a reasonable period of time. Zimbabwe’s fiscal transparency would also be improved by ensuring laws and regulations governing natural resource extraction contracting and licensing are followed in practice, and making basic information about awards publicly available.


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Date

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Heather Higginbottom
Deputy Secretary of State for Management
and Resources, Department of State