Government-by-Government Assessments: Laos
During the review period, the government did not make its executive budget proposal or end-of-year report publicly available, online or otherwise. It did publish its enacted budget, though not within a reasonable period of time, and published a quarterly budget implementation report for the first three quarters of fiscal year 2020. Limited information on debt obligations was publicly available. The completeness and reliability of budget information could not be properly evaluated due to the lack of publicly available documents. Publicly available budget documents were not prepared according to internationally accepted standards. The supreme audit institution does not meet international standards of independence. It reviewed only a portion of the government’s accounts and did not make its reports publicly available. The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law, regulation, or other public documents. Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available. A moratorium on natural resource extraction awards has been in effect since 2012. Laos’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:
- making substantially complete and reliable budget documents publicly available;
- prepare budget documents according to internationally accepted standards;
- publishing comprehensive information on debt obligations; and
- ensuring the supreme audit institution meets international standards of independence, audits the government’s executed budget, and makes its reports public within a reasonable period of time.