Open Budget Survey 2019 :
Democratic Republic of Congo

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Contents
Transparency:
33
/100
(Open Budget Index score)
Public Participation:
31
/100
Budget Oversight:
44
/100

Government budget decisions – what taxes to levy, what services to provide, and how much debt to take on – affect how equal a society is and the well-being of its people, including whether the most disadvantaged will have real opportunities for a better life. It is critical that governments inform and engage the public on these vital decisions that impact their lives.

The Open Budget Survey (OBS) is the world’s only independent, comparative and fact-based research instrument that uses internationally accepted criteria to assess public access to central government budget information; formal opportunities for the public to participate in the national budget process; and the role of budget oversight institutions such as the legislature and auditor in the budget process.

The survey helps local civil society assess and confer with their government on the reporting and use of public funds. This 7th edition of the OBS covers 117 countries.

Transparency

This part of the OBS measures public access to information on how the central government raises and spends public resources. It assesses the online availability, timeliness, and comprehensiveness of eight key budget documents using 109 equally weighted indicators and scores each country on a scale of 0 to 100. A transparency score of 61 or above indicates a country is likely publishing enough material to support informed public debate on the budget.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has a transparency score of 33 (out of 100).

Transparency in Democratic Republic of Congo compared to others

Global Average
45
Benin
49
Senegal
46
Mali
38
Côte d'Ivoire
34
Democratic Republic of Congo
33
Burkina Faso
31
Cameroon
28
Niger
17
Chad
14
0
Insufficient
61
Sufficient
100

Democratic Republic of Congo’s ranking: 85 of 117 countries

0
100

How has the transparency score for Democratic Republic of Congo changed over time?

6
2010
18
2012
39
2015
29
2017
33
2019
0
Insufficient
61
Sufficient
100

Public availability of budget documents in Democratic Republic of Congo

Available to the Public
Published Late, or Not Published Online, or Produced for Internal Use Only
Not Produced
Scroll
Document 2010 2012 2015 2017 2019
Pre-Budget Statement
Executive’s Budget Proposal
Enacted Budget
Citizens Budget
In-Year Reports
Mid-Year Review
Year-End Report
Audit Report

How comprehensive is the content of the key budget documents that Democratic Republic of Congo makes available to the public?

61-100 / 100
41-60 / 100
1-40 / 100
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Key budget document Document purpose and contents Fiscal year assessed Document content score
Pre-Budget Statement Discloses the broad parameters of fiscal policies in advance of the Executive's Budget Proposal; outlines the government's economic forecast, anticipated revenue, expenditures, and debt. 2019 Published Late
Executive’s Budget Proposal Submitted by the executive to the legislature for approval; details the sources of revenue, the allocations to ministries, proposed policy changes, and other information important for understanding the country's fiscal situation. 2019 56
Enacted Budget The budget that has been approved by the legislature. 2018 45
Citizens Budget A simpler and less technical version of the government's Executive’s Budget Proposal or the Enacted Budget, designed to convey key information to the public. 2019 Published Late
In-Year Reports Include information on actual revenues collected, actual expenditures made, and debt incurred at different intervals; issued quarterly or monthly. 2018 41
Mid-Year Review A comprehensive update on the implementation of the budget as of the middle of the fiscal year; includes a review of economic assumptions and an updated forecast of budget outcomes. 2018 Not Produced
Year-End Report Describes the situation of the government's accounts at the end of the fiscal year and, ideally, an evaluation of the progress made toward achieving the budget's policy goals. 2017 Internal Use
Audit Report Issued by the supreme audit institution, this document examines the soundness and completeness of the government's year-end accounts. 2016 Internal Use

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s transparency score of 33 in the 2019 OBS is near its score in 2017.

What changed in 2019?

The Democratic Republic of Congo has increased the availability of budget information by:

Increasing the information provided in the Executive's Budget Proposal.
However, the Democratic Republic of Congo has decreased the availability of budget information by:
Failing to publish the Pre-Budget Statement and Citizens Budget online in a timely manner.
Reducing the information provided in the Enacted Budget.

Recommendations

The Democratic Republic of Congo should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:

Publish the Pre-Budget Statement, Citizens Budget, Year-End Report and Audit Report online in a timely manner.
Produce and publish the Mid-Year Review online in a timely manner.
Include additional policy and fiscal risk information in the Executive's Budget Proposal.
Improve the comprehensiveness of the Enacted Budget by including additional expenditure information (e.g., expenditure estimates by program) and individual sources of revenue
Improve the comprehensiveness of the In-Year Reports by including revenue information and additional estimates on government borrowing and debt.

Public Participation

Transparency alone is insufficient for improving governance. Inclusive public participation is crucial for realizing the positive outcomes associated with greater budget transparency.

The OBS also assesses the formal opportunities offered to the public for meaningful participation in the different stages of the budget process. It examines the practices of the central government’s executive, the legislature, and the supreme audit institution (SAI) using 18 equally weighted indicators, aligned with the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency’s Principles of Public Participation in Fiscal Policy , and scores each country on a scale from 0 to 100.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has a public participation score of 31 (out of 100).

Public participation in Democratic Republic of Congo compared to others

Global Average
14
Democratic Republic of Congo
31
Benin
24
Cameroon
11
Côte d'Ivoire
7
Mali
4
Burkina Faso
0
Chad
0
Niger
0
Senegal
0
0
Insufficient
61
Sufficient
100

For more information, see here for innovative public participation practices around the world.

Extent of opportunities for public participation in the budget process

60
/100
Formulation
(executive)
78
/100
Approval
(legislature)
0
/100
Implementation
(executive)
0
/100
Audit
(supreme audit institution)

few: 0 - 40; limited: 41 - 60; adequate: 61 - 100

Recommendations

The Democratic Republic of Congo's Ministry of Finance has established public consultations during budget formulation but, to further strengthen public participation in the budget process, should also prioritize the following actions:

Pilot mechanisms to monitor budget implementation.
Actively engage with vulnerable and underrepresented communities, directly or through civil society organizations representing them.

The Democratic Republic of Congo's Parliament has established public hearings related to the approval of the annual budget, but should also prioritize the following actions:

Allow members of the public or civil society organizations to testify during its hearings on the Audit Report.

The Democratic Republic of Congo's Court of Accounts should prioritize the following actions to improve public participation in the budget process:

Establish formal mechanisms for the public to assist in developing its audit program and to contribute to relevant audit investigations.

Budget Oversight

The OBS also examines the role that legislatures and supreme audit institutions (SAIs) play in the budget process and the extent to which they provide oversight; each country is scored on a scale from 0 to 100 based on 18 equally weighted indicators. In addition, the survey collects supplementary information on independent fiscal institutions (see Box).

The legislature and supreme audit institution in the Democratic Republic of Congo, together, provide limited oversight during the budget process, with a composite oversight score of 44 (out of 100). Taken individually, the extent of each institution’s oversight is shown below:

Legislative oversight

0
42
100
limited

Audit oversight

0
50
100
limited

weak: 0 - 40; limited: 41 - 60; adequate: 61 - 100

Recommendations

The Democratic Republic of Congo's Parliament provides limited oversight during the planning stage of the budget cycle and weak oversight during the implementation stage. To improve oversight, the following actions are recommended:

The legislature should debate budget policy before the Executive’s Budget Proposal is tabled and approve recommendations for the upcoming budget.
Legislative committees should examine the Executive’s Budget Proposal and publish reports with their analysis online.
A legislative committee should examine in-year budget implementation and publish reports with their findings online.
In practice, ensure the legislature is consulted before the executive shifts funds specified in the Enacted Budget between administrative units; spends any unanticipated revenue; or reduces spending due to revenue shortfalls during the budget year.
A legislative committee should examine the Audit Report and publish a report with their findings online.

To strengthen its independence and improve audit oversight by the Democratic Republic of Congo's Court of Accounts, the following actions are recommended:

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 audit processes are reviewed by an independent agency.

The emerging practice of establishing independent fiscal institutions

The Democratic Republic of Congo does not have an independent fiscal institution (IFI). IFIs are increasingly recognized as valuable independent and nonpartisan information providers to the Executive and/or Parliament during the budget process.

*These indicators are *not* scored in the Open Budget Survey.

Methodology

  • Only documents published and events, activities, or developments that took place through 31 December 2018 were assessed in the OBS 2019.
     
  • The survey is based on a questionnaire completed in each country by an independent budget expert:
    Jean-Jacques Mpindu
    Reseau Gouvernance Economoque Et Democratie (REGED)
    4, Bokasa, Imm. Massamba 1er Niveau, Local 75 Gombe, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
    [email protected]
  • To further strengthen the research, each country’s draft questionnaire is also reviewed by an anonymous independent expert, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo by a representative of the Ministry of Finance.

Other years