According to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), Namibia unfortunately, scored poorly on overall fiscal transparency and accountability. This is according to a recently released report by the institute focusing on public fiscal management and oversight in Namibia.
In the Open Budget Survey (OBS), which ranks individual states according to budget openness, countries require a minimum score of 61 out of 100 overall points to be classified as budget transparent. However, Namibia, as well as many other countries, did not score well in the latest OBS survey conducted in 2019. Furthermore, the OBS revealed that Namibia performed poorly in other sub-categories, especially in fiscal oversight by the legislature and public participation.
“Stakeholder engagement opportunities in Namibia on public finance management and oversight are very limited, and primarily consist of basic consultations. Public engagements in general are non-existent apart from occasional public parliament committee meetings questioning representatives of public entities on use of monies,” reads the report.
Public and stakeholder engagement opportunities have been attributed to improving governance outcomes in many areas of public concern.
However, the IPPR study found a clear demand among stakeholders for more and meaningful public engagement opportunities with state entities that manage public finances.
IPPR recommended that in the medium to long-term, regulators should consider revising and strengthening the legislation governing the management and administration of public finances. It added that legislators should consider mechanisms to compel public entities to improve fiscal management and controls: “In the same vein, the Audit Bill should be revised,” the report recommended.