Trinidad and Tobago
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.
Trinidad and Tobago
|Open Budget Survey 2015||December 2016 Update|
|Pre-Budget Statement||Not Produced||Not Produced|
|Executive's Budget Proposal||Available to the Public||Available to the Public|
|Enacted Budget||Available to the Public||Available to the Public|
|Citizens Budget||Not Produced||Not Produced|
|In-Year Reports||Not Produced||Not Produced|
|Mid-Year Review||Produced for Internal Use Only||Available to the Public|
|Year-End Report||Not Produced||Not Produced|
|Audit Report||Available to the Public||Available to the Public|
As of 31 December 2016, the government of Trinidad and Tobago makes four of eight key budget documents publicly available online in a timeframe consistent with international standards. This reflects a net increase over the findings of the Open Budget Survey 2015, which assessed the availability of documents up to 30 June 2014. Since that assessment, Trinidad and Tobago has published the Mid-Year Review.
To improve budget transparency, Trinidad and Tobago should produce and publish a Year-End Report, In-Year Reports, and a Citizens Budget. 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) 34/100
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago provides the public with minimal budget information.
Public Participation 27/100
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is weak in providing the public with opportunities to engage in the budget process.
By legislature 67/100
Budget oversight by the legislature in Trinidad and Tobago is adequate.
By auditor 75/100
Budget oversight by the supreme audit institution in Trinidad and Tobago is adequate.
Trinidad and Tobago should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:
- Publish a Mid-Year Review.
- Produce and publish a Pre-Budget Statement, Citizens Budget, In-Year Reports, and Year-End Report.
- Increase the comprehensiveness of the Executive’s Budget Proposal by including more information on the classification of expenditures for future years and the classification of revenues for future years.
Trinidad and Tobago 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.
Trinidad and Tobago should prioritize the following actions to strengthen budget oversight:
- Ensure the Executive’s Budget Proposal is provided to legislators at least three months 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 and the spending of contingency funds that were not identified in the Enacted Budget.
Trinidad and Tobago’s score on the Open Budget Index shows that the government provides the public with minimal information on the central government’s budget and financial activities during the course of the budget year. This makes it difficult for citizens to hold government accountable for its management of the public’s money.