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Malawi

Open Budget Survey 2017

Downloads:
Country Summary Questionnaire
Transparency

26

out of 100
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Public Participation

15

out of 100
Read More

Budget Oversight

55

out of 100
Read More

IBP considers countries that score above 60 on the Open Budget Index as providing sufficient budget information to enable the public to engage in budget discussions in an informed manner. IBP considers countries scoring above 60 on participation and oversight as providing adequate opportunities for the public to participate in the budget process and providing adequate oversight practices, respectively.

Transparency (Open Budget Index)

26

out of 100

Malawi provides the public with minimal budget information.

How Has the Open Budget Index Score Changed Over Time?
Recommendations for Improving Transparency

Malawi should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:

  • Publish a Pre-Budget Statement, an Enacted Budget, and a Year-End Report online.
  • Ensure that the Executive’s Budget Proposal and any supporting documents are consistently published online.
  • Consistently publish In-Year Reports online in a timely manner.
  • Continue publishing the Audit Report in a timely manner. (During the OBS research period the government had not published an Audit Report, but this practice has since changed and the 2015/16 Audit Report was published by 30 June 2017.)

Public Participation

15

out of 100

Malawi provides few opportunities for the public to engage in the budget process.

How Does Public Participation Compare to Other Countries in the Region?

Global Average 12/100
South Africa 24/100
Zambia 15/100
Botswana 15/100
Malawi 15/100
Zimbabwe 9/100
Angola 7/100
Mozambique 7/100
Lesotho 0/100
Namibia 0/100
Swaziland 0/100
Recommendations for Improving Participation

Malawi should prioritize the following actions to improve public participation in its budget process:

  • Pilot mechanisms for members of the public and executive branch officials to exchange views on national budget matters during the monitoring of the implementation of the national budget. These mechanisms could build on innovations, such as participatory budgeting and social audits. For examples of such mechanisms, see fiscaltransparency.net/mechanisms.
  • Hold legislative hearings on the formulation of the annual budget, during which members of the public or civil society organizations can testify.
  • Establish formal mechanisms for the public to assist the supreme audit institution in formulating its audit program and to participate in relevant audit investigations.

Budget Oversight (by Legislature & Audit)

55

out of 100

The legislature and supreme audit institution in Malawi provide limited oversight of the budget.

To What Extent Does the Legislature Provide Budget Oversight?

Formulation/Approval 52/100
Execution/Audit 73/100

The legislature provides adequate oversight during the budget cycle. This score reflects that the legislature provides limited oversight during the planning stage of the budget cycle and adequate oversight during the implementation stage of the budget cycle.

To What Extent Does the Supreme Audit Institution Provide Budget Oversight?

Limited 44/100

The supreme audit institution provides limited budget oversight.

Recommendations for Improving Oversight

Malawi should prioritize the following actions to make budget oversight more effective:

  • Ensure the legislature holds a debate on budget policy prior to the tabling of the Executive’s Budget Proposal and approves recommendations for the upcoming budget.
  • Ensure a legislative committee examines and publishes reports on in-year budget implementation online.
  • Ensure the supreme audit institution has adequate funding to perform its duties, as determined by an independent body (e.g., the legislature or judiciary).
  • Consider setting up an independent fiscal institution.

Learn More

The information on this page presents a partial country summary. For more detailed information, please download:


Open Budget Survey 2015

Downloads:
Country Summary - English Questionnaire

Transparency (Open Budget Index) 65/100

The Government of Malawi provides the public with substantial budget information.

Public Participation 44/100

The Government of Malawi provides the public with limited opportunities to engage in the budget process.

Budget Oversight

By legislature 67/100

Budget oversight by the legislature in Malawi is adequate.

By auditor 42/100

Budget oversight by the supreme audit institution in Malawi is limited.

Recommendations

Improving Transparency

Malawi should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:

  • Publish in a timely manner a Pre-Budget Statement.
  • Produce and publish a Citizens Budget, a Mid-Year Review, and an Audit Report.
  • Increase the comprehensiveness of the Executive’s Budget Proposal by presenting more information on macroeconomic forecasts.
Improving Participation

Malawi should prioritize the following actions to improve budget participation:

  • Provide detailed feedback on how public perspectives have been captured and taken into account.
  • Establish formal mechanisms for the public to assist the supreme audit institution to formulate its audit program.
  • Provide detailed feedback on how public assistance and participation have been used by the supreme audit institution.
Improving Oversight

Malawi 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.
  • Ensure the executive receives prior approval by the legislature before implementing a supplemental budget.
  • Require legislative or judicial approval to remove the head of the supreme audit institution.

Open Budget Survey 2012

Downloads:
Country Summary - English Questionnaire

Open Budget Survey 2010

Downloads:
Country Summary Questionnaire

Open Budget Survey 2008

Downloads:
Country Summary Questionnaire (Revised)

Malawi’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 quite difficult for citizens to hold government accountable for its management of the public’s money.


Open Budget Survey 2006

Downloads:
Country Summary Questionnaire



See more on budget work in Malawi »