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United States

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.

United States

Open Budget Survey 2015December 2016 Update
Pre-Budget StatementNot ProducedNot Produced
Executive's Budget ProposalAvailable to the PublicAvailable to the Public
Enacted BudgetAvailable to the PublicAvailable to the Public
Citizens BudgetNot ProducedNot Produced
In-Year ReportsAvailable to the PublicAvailable to the Public
Mid-Year ReviewAvailable to the PublicAvailable to the Public
Year-End ReportAvailable to the PublicAvailable to the Public
Audit ReportAvailable to the PublicAvailable to the Public

As of 31 December 2016, government of the United States makes six of eight key budget documents publicly available online in a timeframe consistent with international standards. These are the same documents found to be publicly available in the Open Budget Survey 2015, which assessed the availability of documents up to 30 June 2014.

To improve budget transparency, the United States should produce and publish a Citizens Budget and a Pre-Budget Statement. 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) 81/100

The Government of the United States provides the public with extensive budget information.

Public Participation 69/100 

The Government of the United States provides the public with adequate opportunities to engage in the budget process.

Budget Oversight

By legislature 85/100

Budget oversight by the legislature in the United States is adequate.

By auditor 100/100

Budget oversight by the supreme audit institution in the United States is adequate.

Recommendations 

Improving Transparency

The United States should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:

  • Produce and publish a Citizens Budget for its Executive’s Budget Proposal.
  • Increase the comprehensiveness of the Enacted Budget by, for instance, presenting information on all expenditures, revenues, and debt.
Improving Participation

The United States should prioritize the following actions to improve budget participation:

  • Establish formal regulations that oblige the executive to engage with the public during each stage of the budget cycle.
  • Establish formal mechanisms for the public to participate in audit investigations.
Improving Oversight

The United States should prioritize the following to strengthen budget oversight:

  • Ensure legislators approve the annual budget before the start of the fiscal year.

 



2010

Downloads:
Country Summary Questionnaire





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