The United States government has said The Gambia made significant progress in its ‘continuing’ efforts at government fiscal reform.

The US Department of State on June 15, 2020 released its 2020 Fiscal Transparency Report. The Department’s fiscal transparency review process assesses whether governments meet minimum requirements of fiscal transparency. For the purpose of this report, the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency include having key budget documents that are publicly available, substantially complete, and generally reliable, the US government through its Embassy in Banjul said in a press release on Monday.

The press release added: “The review includes an assessment of the transparency of processes for awarding government contracts and licenses for natural resource extraction. 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 better-informed public debate.

“During the review period, The Gambia published its enacted budget and end-of-year report online and improved the completeness of budget documents.  Information on debt obligations was publicly available and updated at least annually.  Budget documents were substantially complete. The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and followed in practice.  Basic information about natural resource extraction awards was publicly available. The report also noted that The Gambia’s fiscal transparency would be improved by publishing its executive budget proposal online within a reasonable period of time and ensuring the supreme audit institution publishes audit reports within a reasonable period of time.

“The U.S. Embassy in The Gambia commends the government of The Republic of The Gambia, and in particular the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and the National Assembly, for the continued focus and attention on enhancing transparency in this and other important areas.”