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Sierra Leone

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.

Sierra Leone

Open Budget Survey 2015December 2016 Update
Pre-Budget StatementProduced for Internal Use OnlyProduced for Internal Use Only
Executive's Budget ProposalAvailable to the PublicAvailable to the Public
Enacted BudgetAvailable to the PublicNot Produced
Citizens BudgetAvailable to the PublicAvailable to the Public
In-Year ReportsAvailable to the PublicAvailable to the Public
Mid-Year ReviewProduced for Internal Use OnlyProduced for Internal Use Only
Year-End ReportAvailable to the PublicNot Available Online
Audit ReportAvailable to the PublicAvailable to the Public

As of 31 December 2016, the government of Sierra Leone makes four of eight key budget documents publicly available online in a timeframe consistent with international standards. In prior rounds of the Open Budget Survey, IBP accepted documents that were available upon request and/or in hard copy only as being “publicly available.” In 2016 we updated this definition to require that all documents be published on a relevant government website. For more information, please read our update on the Open Budget Survey.

Since the Open Budget Survey 2015, which assessed budget documents that were available to the public up to 30 June 2014, Sierra Leone has failed to publish the Enacted Budget and failed to publish the Year-End Report on the relevant government website. Hard copies of the Year-End Report are available on request.

To improve budget transparency, Sierra Leone should publish a Mid-Year Review and a Pre-Budget Statement and publish a Year-End Report on the relevant government website. 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.


2015

Downloads:
Country Summary - English Questionnaire

Transparency (Open Budget Index) 52/100

The Government of Sierra Leone provides the public with limited budget information.

Public Participation 31/100

The Government of Sierra Leone is weak in providing the public with opportunities to engage in the budget process.

Budget Oversight

By legislature 36/100

Budget oversight by the legislature in Sierra Leone is weak.

By auditor 67/100

Budget oversight by the supreme audit institution in Sierra Leone is adequate.

Recommendations

Improving Transparency

Sierra Leone should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:

  • Publish the Pre-Budget Statement and the Year-End Report.[1]
  • Publish the budget cycle timetable.
  • Increase the comprehensiveness of the Executive’s Budget Proposal by presenting more information on the classification of revenues for the budget year and data on debt and interest for the budget year.
Improving Participation

Sierra Leone should prioritize the following actions to improve budget participation:

  • Provide detailed feedback on how public perspectives have been captured and taken into account.
  • Hold legislative hearings on the budgets of specific ministries, departments, and agencies at which testimony from the public is heard.
  • Establish formal mechanisms for the public to assist the supreme audit institution to formulate its audit program and participate in audit investigations.
Improving Oversight

Sierra Leone should prioritize the following actions to strengthen budget oversight:

  • Establish a specialized budget research office for the legislature.
  • 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.
  • Ensure the supreme audit institution has adequate funding to perform its duties, as determined by an independent body (e.g., the legislature or judiciary).
  • Ensure the supreme audit institution collaborates with civil society on performance audits

[1] According to updated results from the Open Budget Survey Tracker (www.obstracker.org), Sierra Leone failed to produce a Year-End Report for 2013.





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