Next Country »
« Back to Country List

Trinidad and Tobago

Open Budget Survey 2017

Downloads:
Country Summary Questionnaire
Transparency

33

out of 100
Read More

Public Participation

7

out of 100
Read More

Budget Oversight

44

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)

33

out of 100

Trinidad and Tobago provides the public with minimal budget information.

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

Trinidad and Tobago should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:

  • Publish a Mid-Year Review online.
  • Produce and publish a Pre-Budget Statement, a Citizens Budget, In-Year Reports, and a Year-End Report online.
  • Increase the information provided in the Executive’s Budget Proposal by increasing data on the macroeconomic forecast and data on the financial position of the government.

Public Participation

7

out of 100

Trinidad and Tobago 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
Mexico 35/100
Guatemala 30/100
Dominican Republic 17/100
Nicaragua 11/100
Trinidad and Tobago 7/100
Honduras 7/100
Costa Rica 7/100
El Salvador 6/100
Recommendations for Improving Participation

Trinidad and Tobago 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 both the formulation of the national budget and the monitoring of its implementation. 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)

44

out of 100

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

To What Extent Does the Legislature Provide Budget Oversight?

Formulation/Approval 28/100
Execution/Audit 53/100

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

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

Limited 56/100

The supreme audit institution provides limited budget oversight.

Recommendations for Improving Oversight

Trinidad and Tobago 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.
  • Require legislative or judicial approval to appoint the head of the supreme audit institution.
  • Consider setting up an independent fiscal institution to further strengthen budget oversight.

Open Budget Survey 2015

Downloads:
Country Summary - English Questionnaire

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.

Budget Oversight  

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.

Recommendations 

Improving Transparency

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.
Improving Participation

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.
Improving Oversight

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.

 


Open Budget Survey 2012

Downloads:
Country Summary - English Questionnaire

Open Budget Survey 2010

Downloads:
Country Summary Questionnaire

Open Budget Survey 2008

Downloads:
Country Summary Country Summary Questionnaire

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.




See more on budget work in Trinidad and Tobago »