On June 27, the U.S. Department of State released its 2023 Fiscal Transparency Report which discusses public financial management accountability. Seventy two of the 140 governments evaluated met fiscal transparency requirements, including The Bahamas. The Bahamas was deemed fully complaint for the first time since 2018.
“The Office of the Auditor General has made significant strides to comply with domestic reporting commitments as well as international standards. We congratulate The Bahamas on this achievement which required making key budget documents publicly available, ensuring they were substantially complete and generally reliable; publishing government debt data on a public-facing website; and institutionalizing the timely publication of audits.”
“The U.S. government has been proud to partner with The Bahamas in promoting transparency by providing almost $450,000 in financial, technical, and advisory support to the Office of the Auditor General. This includes support from the U.S. General Accountability Office to conduct a needs assessment, provide training, and update auditing processes to comply with international standards,” said U.S. Embassy’s Nassau Economic and Commercial Officer Ricky Wesch.
The report outlines any significant progress made to publicly disclose national budget documentation, contracts, and licenses, and provides specific recommendations that governments should take to improve fiscal transparency.
“In order for citizens to maintain trust in the government there must be transparency. That is the ultimate goal of good governance,” said Auditor General Terrance Bastian.
“Taxpayers want the assurance that funds are being used for their intended purposes. It’s important to improve the way we do things. There are always new rules, new standards and new guidelines that we need to adopt… The government has been working on implementing the Public Finance Management Act of 2023, which will improve processes and add power to the Office of the Auditor General. This will help us with our goal of maintaining the transparency that’s a part of good governance.”
The Bahamas success in promoting fiscal transparency is featured on the U.S. Department of State’s ShareAmerica web page.
A copy of the 2023 Fiscal Transparency Report can be found here.