Here’s What The US Says About Fiscal Transparency In These Caribbean Countries

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

By NAN Staff Writer

NEWS AMERICAS, NEW YORK, NY, Sept. 9, 2022: The US Department of State today released its 2022 Fiscal Transparency Report to Congress, which evaluated Fiscal Transparency in 141 countries globally including 8 in the Caribbean.  The report says sixty-nine countries globally, including 5 in the Caribbean did not make any progress in meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency. However, 27, including 2 in the Caribbean, were assessed as having made significant progress toward meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.

The Department assessed the governments of Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago as meeting the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency for 2022.

The minimum requirement of fiscal transparency includes – national budget documentation (to include income and expenditures by ministry) and government contracts and licenses for natural resource extraction (to include bidding and concession allocation practices).

HERE’S WHERE THEY STAND

The Bahamas, Haiti and Belize were deemed as having made no significant progress in meeting the minimum fiscal requirements. Here’s why:

THE BAHAMAS

On The Bahamas, the US Department of State’s 2022 Fiscal Transparency Report, says The Bahamas’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

Ensuring the supreme audit institution audits the government’s executed budget; and
Making audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period.

BELIZE

Belize’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

Publishing its executive budget proposal within a reasonable period; and
Ensuring the supreme audit institution audits the government’s executed budget and makes audit reports publicly available within a reasonable period.

HAITI

Haiti’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

Publishing an executive budget proposal and end-of-year report within a reasonable period;
Ensuring the budget provides a substantially full picture by including major sources of revenue and expenditure;
Providing more detail on allocations to, earnings from, and debt holdings of state-owned enterprises;
Subjecting its military budget to civilian oversight;
Ensuring adequate audit and oversight for off-budget accounts;
Ensuring actual revenues and expenditures reasonably correspond to those in the enacted budget;
Improving the reliability of budget documents by producing and publishing a supplemental budget when actual revenues and expenditures do not correspond to those in the enacted budget; and
Ensuring the supreme audit institution meets international standards of independence and publishes timely and substantive audit reports.

Even though the DR and Suriname made some progress, the US report says this on the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:

The Dominican Republic’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

Publishing a comprehensive end-of-year report;
Publishing the budget allocations to, earnings from, and debt of major state-owned enterprises; and
Ensuring the independence of the supreme audit institution.

SURINAME

Suriname’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

Publishing an end-of-year budget report;
Subjecting off-budget accounts to oversight; and
Ensuring applicable laws and regulations for contracting and licensing in natural resource extraction are followed in practice.