US: Libya’s Financial Reporting Remains Incomplete

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The US Department of State (DoS) issued a report on its official website, stating that the Libyan conflict has negatively affected the transparency of the country’s financial records.

“Internal political conflict has prevented the Libyan government from fully implementing its budget processes, which has adversely affected fiscal transparency,” the report said. “An end-of-year budget report was available online. Only limited information on debt obligations was publicly available.”

It added that the publicly available budget documents were not substantially complete and lacked sufficient detail. It pointed out that the audit reports for large state-owned enterprises, such as the National Oil Corporation (NOC), were unavailable.

According to the report, the information regarding expenditures to support executive offices was not public. Military and intelligence budgets were subject to limited civilian oversight.

The DoS explained that Libya does not yet fully use internationally accepted accounting principles. It noted that Libya’s Supreme Audit Institution audited government accounts but did not make a public report available within a reasonable period of time.

“The criteria and procedures for awarding contracts and licenses for natural resource extraction were outlined in laws or regulations, and generally appear to have been followed in practice,” the report said. “Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was public,” it added.

The report indicated that Libya’s fiscal transparency would be improved by:

-Publishing complete and reliable budget documents in a reasonable period of time.

-Including in its budget documents information on its debt obligations, significant state-owned enterprises, and expenditures to support executive offices.

-Subjecting military and intelligence budgets to further civilian oversight.

-Fully adopting internationally accepted accounting principles.

-Making the Supreme Audit Institution reports publicly available within a reasonable period of time.