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 2015||December 2016 Update|
|Pre-Budget Statement||Not Produced||Not Produced|
|Executive's Budget Proposal||Produced for Internal Use Only||Not Produced|
|Enacted Budget||Produced for Internal Use Only||Produced for Internal Use Only|
|Citizens Budget||Not Produced||Published Late|
|In-Year Reports||Not Produced||Not Produced|
|Mid-Year Review||Not Produced||Not Produced|
|Year-End Report||Produced for Internal Use Only||Not Produced|
|Audit Report||Produced for Internal Use Only||Produced for Internal Use Only|
As of 31 December 2016, the government of Saudi Arabia makes none of the eight key budget documents available online to the public in a timeframe consistent with international standards.
To improve budget transparency, Saudi Arabia should publish an Executive’s Budget Proposal, a Year-End Report, and an Enacted Budget. 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.
Transparency (Open Budget Index) 0/100
The Government of Saudi Arabia provides the public with no budget information.
Public Participation 0/100
The Government of Saudi Arabia provides the public with no opportunities to engage in the budget process.
By legislature 0/100
Budget oversight by the legislature in Saudi Arabia is nonexistent.
By auditor 34/100
Budget oversight by the supreme audit institution in Saudi Arabia is weak.
Saudi Arabia should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:
- Publish an Executive’s Budget Proposal, Enacted Budget, Year-End Report, and Audit Report.
- Produce and publish a Pre-Budget Statement, Citizens Budget, In-Year Reports, and Mid-Year Review.
Saudi Arabia should prioritize the following actions to improve budget participation:
- Establish credible and effective mechanisms (i.e., public hearings, surveys, focus groups) for capturing a range of public perspectives on budget matters.
- Hold legislative hearings on the budgets of specific ministries, departments, and agencies as well as on audit reports 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.
Saudi Arabia should prioritize the following actions to strengthen budget oversight:
- Establish a specialized budget research office for the legislature.
- 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.
Saudi Arabia’s score on the Open Budget Index shows that the government provides the public with scant information on the central government’s budget and financial activities during the course of the budget year. This makes it very difficult for citizens to hold government accountable for its management of the public’s money.