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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.


Open Budget Survey 2015December 2016 Update
Pre-Budget StatementPublished LateProduced for Internal Use Only
Executive's Budget ProposalAvailable to the PublicAvailable to the Public
Enacted BudgetAvailable to the PublicNot Available Online
Citizens BudgetNot ProducedNot Produced
In-Year ReportsAvailable to the PublicPublished Late
Mid-Year ReviewNot ProducedNot Available Online
Year-End ReportAvailable to the PublicNot Available Online
Audit ReportNot ProducedNot Produced

As of 31 December 2016, the government of Malawi makes one of eight key budget documents publicly available online in a timeframe consistent with international standards. In prior rounds of the Open Budget Survey, IBP accepted documents that were available upon request and/or in hard copy only as being “publicly available.” In 2016 we updated this definition to require that all documents be published on a relevant government website. For more information, please read our update on the Open Budget Survey.

Since the Open Budget Survey 2015, which assessed budget documents that were available to the public up to 30 June 2014, Malawi has failed to publish In-Year Reports in a timely manner and failed to publish the Enacted Budget and Year-End Report on the relevant government website. Hard copies of the Enacted Budget and Year-End Report are available on request.

To improve budget transparency, Malawi should publish a Year-End Report and an Enacted Budget on the relevant government website and publish In-Year Reports in a timely manner. 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.


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.


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.


Country Summary Questionnaire


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.


Country Summary Questionnaire

See more on budget work in Malawi »