In 2012, Zambia scored 4 out of 100 on the Open Budget Score, well below the average score of 43 for all the 100 countries surveyed. It is also below the score of all other countries in the region: Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Zambia’s score indicates that the government provides the public with scant information on the national government’s budget and financial activities during the course of the budget year. This makes it challenging for citizens to hold the government accountable for its management of the public’s money. Even worse is that Zambia’s 2012 is sharply lower than in 2010 score of 36. So things have got worse.
The Open Budget Survey assesses whether countries publicise 8 key budget documents (pre-budget statement, executive’s budget proposal, enacted budget, citizens’ budget, in-year reports, mid-year review, year-end report and audit report). In 2012, Zambia only publicised the enacted budget and the audit report, while it produced (for internal use) the executive’s budget proposal, in-year reports and year-end reports.