15:30 GMT +323 October 2019
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    US Mideast Allies Fail to Meet Fiscal Transparency Standards to Receive Aid

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    Nearly half of 140 governments evaluated in the 2015 Global Fiscal Transparency Report do not meet the basic standards of fiscal transparency for receiving US aid, according to a new US Department of State report.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Countries listed as making “no significant progress” toward fiscal transparency in the past year included Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority — all US allies in the Middle East — as well as Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and oil-rich Azerbaijan among the former Soviet republics.

    Russia and India met the US transparency standards, but China and Pakistan did not, the report said.

    “Fiscal transparency is a critical element of effective public financial management, helps in building market confidence and underpins economic sustainability,” the report said on Friday. “It fosters greater government accountability by providing a window into government budgets for citizens.”

    Ukraine and Kazakhstan were among the countries that did not meet minimum standards of transparency, but were still noted as making “significant progress” over the past year.

    However, there was no indication that any US aid programs to countries not meeting transparency standards would be trimmed or curtailed.

    The report said the annual fiscal reviews “provide opportunities to dialogue with governments” on the transparency issue.

    The report was compiled by the State Department’s Office of Monetary Affairs (OMA), which monitors global macroeconomic developments and works to prevent and resolve financial crises in countries where US interests are at risk, according to the OMA’s website.

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