Open Budget Survey Document Availability Tracker
December 2016 Update
To recognize improvements and identify slippages in budget transparency between rounds of the biennial Open Budget Survey, we periodically assess the public availability of the eight key budget documents – an essential component of transparency. This update presents the results of the most recent of these interim assessments.
|Open Budget Survey 2015||December 2016 Update|
|Pre-Budget Statement||Published Late||Published Late|
|Executive's Budget Proposal||Available to the Public||Available to the Public|
|Enacted Budget||Available to the Public||Available to the Public|
|Citizens Budget||Published Late||Available to the Public|
|In-Year Reports||Available to the Public||Produced for Internal Use Only|
|Mid-Year Review||Available to the Public||Not Produced|
|Year-End Report||Not Produced||Available to the Public|
|Audit Report||Produced for Internal Use Only||Not Produced|
As of 31 December 2016, the government of Liberia makes four of eight key budget documents publicly available online in a timeframe consistent with international standards. This is the same number of documents that were found to be publicly available in the Open Budget Survey 2015, which assessed the availability of documents up to 30 June 2014. However, since then, Liberia has produced In-Year Reports for internal use only and failed to produce the Mid-Year Review, but published the Year-End Report and published the Citizens Budget in a timely manner.
To improve budget transparency, Liberia should publish In-Year Reports and an Audit Report and publish a Pre-Budget Statement in a timely manner. For more information on the content that the eight key budget documents should contain, and the publication timeframe for each document, please see IBP’s Guide to Transparency in Government Budget Reports and the Open Budget Survey Guidelines on Public Availability of Budget Documents.
Transparency (Open Budget Index) 38/100
The Government of Liberia provides the public with minimal budget information.
Public Participation 21/100
The Government of Liberia is weak in providing the public with opportunities to engage in the budget process.
By legislature 33/100
Budget oversight by the legislature in Liberia is weak.
By auditor 33/100
Budget oversight by the supreme audit institution in Liberia is weak.
Liberia should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:
- Publish an Audit Report.
- Publish in a timely manner a Pre-Budget Statement and a Citizens Budget.
- Produce and publish a Year-End Report.
Liberia should prioritize the following actions to improve budget participation:
- Establish credible and effective mechanisms (i.e., public hearings, surveys, focus groups) for capturing a range of public perspectives on budget matters.
- Publish reports on public budget hearings.
- Provide detailed feedback on how public assistance and participation has been used by the supreme audit institution.
Liberia should prioritize the following actions to strengthen budget oversight:
- Ensure the Executive’s Budget Proposal is approved by legislators at least one month before the start of the budget year.
- In both law and practice, ensure the legislature is consulted prior to the virement of funds in the Enacted Budget, the spending of any unanticipated revenue, and the spending of contingency funds that were not identified in the Enacted Budget.
- Require legislative or judicial approval to remove the head of the supreme audit institution.
Liberia’s score on the Open Budget Index shows that the government provides the public with almost no information on the central government’s budget and financial activities during the course of the budget year. This makes it very difficult for citizens to hold government accountable for its management of the public’s money.