US: Bangladesh makes ‘no significant progress’ for fiscal transparency

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The country is among 64 those did not meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.

Bangladesh is not also among the eight countries, out of the 64, made significant progress, according to a latest report the US State Department published today.

The report titled “2016 Fiscal Transparency Report” found that 76 of 140 governments reviewed by the department met minimum requirements of fiscal transparency during the period of January 1 to December 31, 2015.

The department evaluated the public availability, substantial completeness, and reliability of budget documents, as well as the transparency of processes for awarding government contracts and licenses for natural resource extraction.

It reviews governments that were originally identified as recipients of assistance.

The minimum requirements of fiscal transparency are the public disclosure of national budget documentation (to include receipts and expenditures by ministry), and government contracts and licenses for natural resource extraction (to include bidding and concession allocation practices).

During the review period, the report said, Bangladesh’s budget and information on debt obligations were widely and easily accessible to the public, including online.

“While budget documents provided a broad picture of the government’s planned expenditures and revenue streams, they lacked detail. The budget did not identify allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises, or natural resource revenues.”

The review found Bangladesh’s supreme audit institution reviewed the government’s annual executed budget but its reports were not publicly available within a reasonable period of time.

The criteria and process for allocating licenses and contracts for natural resource extraction were outlined in law and appeared to be followed in practice.

Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was not consistently publicly available online or in an official gazette, despite details being announced at the time of awards.

The report said Bangladesh’s fiscal transparency would be improved by: making budget documents substantially complete with greater detail on natural resource revenues and allocations to and earnings from state-owned enterprises; making budget audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time; and making basic information about natural resource extraction licenses and contracts publicly available.

In reaching determinations, the Department considered information from U.S. embassies and consulates, other U.S. government agencies, international organizations, and civil society organizations. U.S. diplomatic missions consulted with foreign government officials, international organizations, and civil society to obtain information for these assessments.


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