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Cablegate: Bolivian Report On Fiscal Transparency

VZCZCXYZ0018
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLP #0545 0701359
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 101359Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6775

UNCLAS LA PAZ 000545

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

PASS TO EEB/IFD/OMA FOR ANDREW SNOW AND RICHARD FIGUEROA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON PREL
SUBJECT: BOLIVIAN REPORT ON FISCAL TRANSPARENCY

REF: SECSTATE 16737


1. In Bolivia, a proposed national budget is presented to
the Congress toward the end of the year (November or
December). At that time, the Administration makes public its
budget assumptions and what is being presented to Congress.
Congress considers the budget proposals and is then expected
to approve a final version by the end of the year.

2. Once approved, the national budget is available on-line
on the Finance Ministry's website. It is also available in
print. All revenue and expenditure figures are included in
the publicly-available budget. On the whole, the information
is both meaningful and accurate; however, some of the
methodology used for data collection may be problematic,
principally because of a lack of institutional capacity in
small municipalities. An additional area of concern is the
growing size and lack of institutional capacity within
state-run enterprises. The political disposition for
transparent fiscal administration appears to continue to
exist; however, institutional capacity to manage a growing
budget both within state-owned companies and within the
smaller, municipal (and even departmental) governments may
cause the accuracy of budget reporting to be called into
question.

3. USAID has provided support for fiscal transparency in
several different ways. Currently, USAID is supporting a
detailed modeling exercise on intergovernmental fiscal
relations. The model can be used to conduct detailed
analyses informing the three levels of government (national,
departmental, and municipal) on different scenarios on the
division of fiscal powers and functions across these levels
of government. USAID is working to engage the national
government more directly and actively in this exercise.
USAID is funding technical assistance and software
development to improve financial management and transparency
at the departmental level. This includes support for the
Public Management Software System ("SGP ") which is used by
government staff from five of Bolivia's nine departments to
monitor public investments, including budget execution.
USAID plans to undertake a major new activity to strengthen
municipal service delivery and local democracy in the coming
months. This project may include support for financial
management strengthening in selected municipalities. This
could likely build upon limited past municipal financial
management work USAID has supported and that concluded in
2006.

4. Both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) report on Bolivia's compliance with standards and codes
covering fiscal transparency. Two recent reports are
available on the IMF website: (1) Bolivia: Report on the
Observance of Standards and Codes Data Module, Response by
the Authorities, and Detailed Assessment Using the Data
Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF); IMF Country Report
07/283; August 2, 2007; and (2), 2007 Article IV Consultation
Staff Report, IMF Country Report 07/248; June 27, 2007.


GOLDBERG

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