November 17, 2014

How Far Can the IMF’s New Fiscal Transparency Code Take Us?

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Posted by Carlos Scartascini [1]

The Fiscal Affairs Department at the IMF has been a (if not the) leader on fiscal research, policy analysis, and data generation in the world for the last 50 years. It has influenced the work of scholars, contributed to the development of professionals and policymakers, and more importantly, had a direct impact on the lives of millions of people in the developed and developing world.

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Job Opportunity: Qatar Ministry of Finance

The Qatar Ministry of Finance is advertising for an experienced Macro-Fiscal Advisor to help make the recently-established Macro Fiscal Unit operational, providing key fiscal reports and forecasts.  The position will be working directly for the Qatari government, and be based in Doha for an initial period of 2 years. A working knowledge of Arabic would be useful, but not required. An announcement is available here:  Download Qatar MOF Senior Economic Advisor.

Interested applicants should contact Ahmed Helal at the Qatar Ministry of Finance (ahelal@mof.gov.qa).

Note: The posts on the IMF PFM Blog should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy.

November 13, 2014

Value for Money in African Public Spending

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Posted by Philipp Krause1

The Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) recently brought together 75 delegates from 24 countries for its annual conference in Johannesburg. The topic this year was “value for money in public spending”. CABRI is the peer-led network of African senior budget officials, which aims to improve African public finance management through peer exchange and support. It is being led by its member countries and supported by a small secretariat based in Pretoria.

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November 10, 2014

A New FMIS Handbook

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Posted by Cem Dener[1]

Implementing Financial Management Information System (FMIS) solutions is not an easy task, and entails the allocation of significant resources and substantial capacity building efforts. FMIS can be a powerful tool, if designed to meet specific user requirements, and well aligned to a country’s PFM reform strategy and a realistic action plan. Moreover, the development of a countrywide FMIS solution and information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure will be more useful when it is an integral part of a coherent national e-Government strategy. The risks of supply-driven or market-driven choices of FMIS solutions are high. They should be counter-balanced by giving due attention to the design of a tool that is both flexible and responsive to the needs of its ultimate users. FMIS systems are no replacement for good management and robust internal controls, and will not be very useful if budget coverage itself is limited, or budget planning/execution practices are not well established or integrated.

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November 04, 2014

Taking Stock of PFM Reforms in the WAEMU

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Posted by Bruno Imbert1

In 2009, the Council of Ministers of the Western Africa Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) adopted six regional directives2 on public finance. These directives aim at reforming the public finance system in the WAEMU’s eight member countries3. All countries are required to bring their domestic legislation into line with the directives by January 2012 and to implement the changes by January 2017. The first deadline, however, has already been missed, as indicated in the table below. By October 2014, only four countries have successfully enacted all of the six directives. Three countries have enacted one or two directives and are currently working on the others, while one country has so far failed to enact any of the directives.

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October 31, 2014

Governance of the IPSASB: Latest Developments

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Posted by Delphine Moretti

As discussed previously on this blog, the IPSASB Governance Review Group (“the Review Group”) conducted an online global public consultation, from January 17 to April 30, 2014, to garner views from the public at large on the future directions for the governance and oversight of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB). The summary of answers to the consultation has now been published.

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October 28, 2014

THE PROOF OF THE PUDDING: STRENGTHENING CASH MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIA

Nigeria Treasury House

Posted by Salawu Zubairu, Sailendra Pattanayak and Yasemin Hurcan[1]

Nigeria is now the largest economy in Africa and the Federal Government’s (FGN) operations account for more than 13 percent of GDP. However, the management of the government’s cash resources was quite fragmented until a major reform was launched recently to implement a treasury single account (TSA). Prior to this reform, the federal government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) held more than 5,000 accounts in different banks. Due to these fragmented banking arrangements, the cash resources of the FGN were not being consolidated and huge cash balances were remaining idle in MDAs’ bank accounts, while the FGN was incurring ways and means charges to meet the cash shortfall. For example, at the end of 2009 the FGN had an overall cash balance of more than 362 billion Naira in the MDAs’ various bank accounts (held both at the Central Bank of Nigeria and commercial banks), but the Central Bank still needed to provide ways and means financing of 147 billion Naira through the Consolidated Revenue Fund to meet the government’s cash requirements. To address this issue and strengthen FGN cash management system, the authorities sought technical assistance from the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD).

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October 20, 2014

Performance Budgeting in the States of the United States 1/

Des Moines, Iowa State Capitol
By Celeste Kubasta

In developing PFM reforms it makes sense to look at other countries for best practices. Often people forget, however, that in the larger countries of this world the most exciting reforms often take place at the state or provincial level. Examples of states being more innovative than central or federal government can be found in countries as diverse as China, India or the US. The fifty states in the US provide a broad spectrum of PFM reform experiences, especially in the area of performance budgeting. The National Association of State Budget Officers recently prepared a report, “Investing in Results: Using Performance Data to Inform State Budgeting”. The range of methodologies described within this report is sure to provide country officials with useful insights for their reform efforts.

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October 16, 2014

Putting Accountability with Teeth into Fiscal Transparency

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Posted by Jules Muis1

On October 6, the IMF and the World Bank held a seminar on progress made in their fiscal transparency efforts. An almost full house was briefed about the revamped IMF Fiscal Transparency Code and Evaluation, and parallel plans for updating the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) framework. The related Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) was used as an example of how public-private initiatives could give a transparency initiative ownership, traction and increased impact.

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October 08, 2014

IMF-World Bank Seminar on New Fiscal Transparency Code and PEFA Framework

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Posted by Richard Hughes1

On October 6, the 2014 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings kicked off with a seminar on the new Fiscal Transparency Code and PEFA Framework, two of the key international standards for fiscal disclosure and management.

This joint IMF-World Bank event provided an opportunity to learn about and discuss the changes to these important tools for benchmarking the quality of countries’ fiscal transparency and management practices. It also marked the official launch of the public consultation of the fourth and final pillar of the Fiscal Transparency Code on Natural Resource Revenue Management.

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