The US Department of State criticizes Turkmenistan for fiscal nontransparency

The US Department of State has published 2019 Fiscal Transparency Report. The Report compiled by the US Department of State assesses fiscal transparency of the countries the US government rendered financial assistance to in 2018.

Fiscal transparency is a critical element of effective public financial management, helps build market confidence, and underpins economic sustainability. Fiscal transparency fosters greater government accountability by providing a window into government budgets for citizens, helping citizens hold their leadership accountable, and facilitating betterinformed public debate, the report says.

The authors of the report did not see any significant progress in Turkmenistan's fiscal transparency. Turkmenistan published aggregate revenue data online in its staterun newspaper, but information on debt obligations were not made public. Publicly available budget information was not complete and did not include government revenues from natural resources. Information on the government's offbudget stabilization fund was not publicly available. Given the lack of availability of budget documents, the budget's reliability cannot be assessed.

Turkmenistan's supreme audit institution lacked independence and did not make its reports publicly available.

The laws and regulations for allocating licenses and contracts for natural resource extraction did not fully detail the conditions and procedures for issuing licenses and contracts. Therefore, it was unclear if the laws and regulations were followed in practice.

The US Department of State recommended the authorities of Turkmenistan to ensure budget documents are substantially complete and reliable; to establish an independent supreme audit institution which will make supreme audit institution reports publicly available; and fully outline the criteria and procedures for allocating natural resource extraction licenses and contracts in law or regulation.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan