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Zambia

Open Budget Survey 2017

Downloads:
Country Summary Questionnaire
Transparency

8

out of 100
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Public Participation

15

out of 100
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Budget Oversight

48

out of 100
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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)

8

out of 100

Zambia provides the public with scant budget information.

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

Zambia should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:

  • Publish an Executive’s Budget Proposal (including both the Budget Speech and Yellow Book) in a timely manner on the Ministry of Finance’s website, and ensure that the links function properly. The OBS 2017 examined the Executive’s Budget Proposal for FY 2017. While the Yellow Book did have a link posted on the Ministry of Finance’s website, this link did not function during the research period, and so the file was not accessible.
  • Produce and publish a Pre-Budget Statement online in a timely manner.
  • Ensure that future versions of the Citizens Budget, the Mid-Year Review, and the Year-End Report are published online in a timely manner.

Public Participation

15

out of 100

Zambia 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

Zambia 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 any 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 (for example, via social audits or value-for-money surveys).

Budget Oversight (by Legislature & Audit)

48

out of 100

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

To What Extent Does the Legislature Provide Budget Oversight?

Formulation/Approval 28/100
Execution/Audit 47/100

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?

Adequate 72/100

The supreme audit institution provides adequate budget oversight.

Recommendations for Improving Oversight

Zambia 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 that the newly established independent fiscal institution’s funding is adequate and not reliant on international donors and publish its reports and analyses online.

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) 39/100

The Government of Zambia provides the public with minimal information.

Public Participation 40/100 

The Government of Zambia is weak in providing the public with opportunities to engage in the budget process.

Budget Oversight 

By legislature 27/100

Budget oversight by the legislature in Zambia is weak.

By auditor 58/100

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

Recommendations 

Improving Transparency

Zambia should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:

  • Publish its budget documents in a timely and consistent manner, including its In-Year Reports, Citizens Budget, and Mid-Year Review.
  • Increase the comprehensiveness of the Executive’s Budget Proposal, including by providing more detailed information on debt.
Improving Participation

Zambia 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

Zambia should prioritize the following actions to strengthen budget oversight:

  • Establish a specialized budget research office for the legislature.
  • Ensure the executive receives prior approval from the legislature before implementing a supplemental budget.
  • Ensure the supreme audit institution has adequate funding to perform its duties, as determined by an independent body (e.g., the legislature or judiciary).

 


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

Zambia’s score on the Open Budget Index shows that the government provides the public with some, albeit incomplete, 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.


Open Budget Survey 2006

Downloads:
Country Summary Questionnaire



See more on budget work in Zambia »