We came across this fascinating paper, authored by Omar AlShehabi, a scholar at the London School of Economics. It’s interesting to note a Kuwaiti NGO (Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences) finances the research conducted by the LSE Kuwait Program. Perhaps its no surprise Kuwait came out on top in terms of transparency, but then again with a parliament so focused on who gets paid what, its no wonder there’s less room for chicanery.
Show Us The Money: Oil revenues, undisclosed allocations and accountability in budgets of the GCC States
This paper traces the historical evolution of the transparency, independence and accountability of public revenues and expenditures in each of the GCC countries. Beginning with the discovery of oil in 1932, specific focus is placed on that part of oil revenues that are treated as undisclosed allocations, including military expenditures, overseas transfers and royal allowances. It argues that with the exception of Kuwait, there is strong evidence to suggest that significant amount of oil revenues are undeclared, which go either into private hands or into undisclosed government transactions.