Transparency (Open Budget Index) 53/100
The Government of El Salvador provides the public with limited budget information.
Public Participation 17/100
The Government of El Salvador is weak in providing the public with opportunities to engage in the budget process.
By legislature 79/100
Budget oversight by the legislature in El Salvador is adequate.
By auditor 92/100
Budget oversight by the supreme audit institution in El Salvador is adequate.
El Salvador should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:
- Modify the Ley de Acesso de Informacion Publica 2011 to ensure that the Mid-Year Review includes an updated macroeconomic forecast and a projection of its effect on the remaining six months of the fiscal year.
- Increase the comprehensiveness of the Executive’s Budget Proposal by presenting more information on the classification of expenditures for future years and the classification of revenues for future years.
- Increase the comprehensiveness of the Year-End Report by presenting more information on planned versus actual macroeconomic forecasts and on planned versus actual performance.
- Undertake timely publication of Audit Reports with useful and accessible information, according to the Access to Information Law.
El Salvador should prioritize the following actions to improve budget participation:
- Establish credible and effective mechanisms (i.e., public hearings, surveys, focus groups) for capturing a range of public perspectives during the formulation of the budget.
- Hold legislative hearings on the budgets of specific ministries, departments, and agencies (as well as on Audit Reports) at which testimony from the public is heard.
- Establish formal mechanisms for the public to participate in audit investigations.
- Promote the existence and usefulness of the Citizens Budget.
El Salvador should prioritize the following actions to strengthen budget oversight:
- Ensure the legislature holds a pre-budget debate and the outcome is reflected in the Enacted Budget.
The Open Budget Survey (OBS) is an assessment of fiscal transparency, public participation and formal oversight in the budget process across a range of countries, conducted every two years.
This brief focuses on the OBS performance of a number of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. With a few exceptions, the region is close to consolidating budget systems that generate and publish sufficient information for citizens to understand how their governments spend. Download the report in Spanish and English.
One of the three issues our research has identified that characterizes the management of tax expenditures in Latin America is decision-making processes that are opaque, closed to a limited number of actors, and not linked to the annual budget process. In this brief, we look at the ways in which governments decide upon and manage tax expenditures and the degree to which current arrangements allow for their effective use as fiscal policy instruments.
This publication is part of the LATERAL project, which has brought together a group of civil society organizations from across Latin America and the Caribbean to better understand and influence the ways in which governments use—or abuse—tax expenditures as tools for fiscal policy and economic development.
Across Latin America, tax expenditures are reducing government revenues by between 10 and 20 percent, but adequate information on their objectives, beneficiaries, and ultimate impact is lacking. This brief looks at some more general data on transparency practices on tax expenditures and then presents the results of a mini-survey for Latin America to facilitate cross-country comparisons and encourage debate on areas in which governments need to improve on their tax expenditure transparency practices.
- Latin America Tax Expenditure Research, Advocacy, and Learning (LATERAL) project overview
- Tax Expenditures in Latin America: A Civil Society Perspective (January 2019)
- Evaluating Tax Expenditures: A Framework for Civil Society Researchers (June 2018)
- A Quick Guide to Researching Tax Expenditures in Latin America (June 2018)
- Tax Expenditures and Inequality in Latin America (June 2018)