Fiscal Governance Briefs


Fiscal Governance Briefs take stock of a country’s fiscal transparency and public financial management. We begin at the central government level, then proceed to other parts of the public sector, including natural resource state-owned companies. All readers have access to the front page of the report. To access the entire report readers will need to become Alliance members. Please click here to request membership information.

The Alliance has published a Fiscal Governance Brief on Nigeria. In recent years, Nigeria has undertaken significant reforms to improve transparency and reduce corruption. However, of fourteen commitments made in the 2017 National Action Plan, none was deemed completed by the OGP in 2020. Nigeria lacks a fiscal transparency code specifying roles for ministries or other stakeholders in budget drafting. Many budget documents are released infrequently, late, or with incomplete information. Issues of transparency and corruption in government budgeting rank high among the concerns of Nigeria’s population, particularly with regards to the petroleum sector. Existing regulations are laden with ambiguities and contradictions that have blurred the roles and responsibilities of various agencies. The extractives sector is characterized by a lack of clarity in oversight structures, overlapping roles and responsibilities, leading to data discrepancies and a lack of accountability.

The Alliance has also published a Fiscal Governance Brief on Kenya. In recent years, Kenya has also made significant progress in improving its fiscal disclosure. In 2012, a new Public Financial Management Law was enacted, aligning Kenya's legal framework with the IMF's best practice standards. This was followed in 2013 with a review of autonomous agencies and state enterprises with the intention of boosting oversight. Since then, the timeliness of annual reports and coverage across institutions has increased. The track record of fiscal forecasting and budgeting is strong. On the other hand, fiscal risk management -- particularly quantitative stress-testing -- shows mixed results. One area that could also show improvement is in the transition to accrual accounting.

In recent years, Argentina has made progress improving its fiscal transparency and fighting corruption.  The 2017-2019 Open Budget Survey showed improvements in fiscal reporting. However, fiscal transparency needs to improve further to provide a sufficient understanding of the fiscal position. Access the Fiscal Governance Brief on Argentina published by the Alliance.

Lebanon is experiencing a crisis long in the making due to endemic corruption currently compounded by the global pandemic and the catastrophic port explosion on 4 August 2020. Despite a recent change in government, Lebanon still has an enormous task to make its fiscal accounts even baseline compliant. There has been some progress: the first citizens’ budget was published in 2017. This coincided with the publication of a budget after a gap of eleven years.  Access the Fiscal Governance Brief on Lebanon published by the Alliance. 

South Africa is one of the strongest reporters of public financial data in the world. The 2019 Open Budget Index assigned South Africa a budget transparency score of 87, tying it with New Zealand for first place out of 117 countries evaluated. South Africa’s score has declined from a high of 92 in 2010 but remains exemplary, particularly among its emerging market peers. Read the Fiscal Governance Brief on South Africa published by the Alliance.