April 23, 2018

2018 Fiscal Transparency Handbook

Fiscal Transparency Handbook Cover Page
Posted by Richard Allen and Sailendra Pattanayak
[1]

The 2018 Fiscal Transparency Handbook was published on April 21, 2018. The Handbook explains the principles and practices set out in the 2014 Fiscal Transparency Code, which was initially launched in the late 1990s and revised in 2014. The Code is the most widely recognized international standard for the disclosure of information about public finances.

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April 19, 2018

Forecasting the Economy, or Preparing for the Future?

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Posted by Sybi Hida[1]

Macro-fiscal forecasting in Southern African countries mimics the experience of other developing countries. Forecasting remains a challenge, especially in commodity exporting countries. The main weaknesses relate to the lack of good data and human capacity. Many Southern African countries have invested heavily in building macro-fiscal models—with the support of external experts—and setting up macro-forecasting units. In many cases, the models are complicated and require detailed data that are usually not timely, are unavailable, or do not provide a reliable guide to developments in the real economy. Another constraint is the generally high turnover of staff in forecasting units, as well as the difficulties of operating complex and cumbersome forecasting models.

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April 12, 2018

The IMF’s Online PFM Course

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An Interview with Sophie Brown, Manal Fouad and Caroline Van Rijckeghem[1]

 

As the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF gets ready to launch the second offering of its online PFM course, Richard Allen (RA) interviews Sophie Brown (SB), Manal Fouad (MF), and Caroline Van Rijckeghem (CvR) on the first course offering and what it meant for training in the PFM area.

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April 09, 2018

Budget Development in a Medium-Term Perspective

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Posted by Richard Neves and Sanjesh Naidu[1]

For several decades, Pacific Island Countries, like many developing countries elsewhere in the world, have prepared national and sectoral plans which are inadequately linked to the annual budget process. Achieving the development objectives set out in these plans could be best described as variable. Plans have become aspirational documents, accurately reflecting the development outcomes that various communities seek, and connecting with global and regional priorities that are of national interest, for example the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. But they are much less effective in guiding decisions on which projects to implement, or which services to prioritize, and securing the necessary resources.  

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April 02, 2018

Budget Development in a Medium-Term Perspective

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Posted by Celeste Kubasta[1]

The Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Center (CARTAC) recently held a workshop[2] aimed at helping member countries approach their fiscal challenges in a more strategic way, address fiscal discipline and sustainability issues, and foster transparency and accountability. The workshop also continued CARTAC’s efforts to integrate a gender perspective within budget practices. 

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March 29, 2018

The Political Economy of Public Financial Management

 

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Posted by Benoit Taiclet[1]

A recent report published by the World Bank[2] takes stock of long lasting efforts to improve PFM systems. Since 2002, nearly 150 countries have undertaken at least one Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessment, and development partners have spent US$1.3 billion annually to support PFM reforms. However, there is a lack of studies which analyze the impact of this support on fiscal performance and budgeting, and why the impact has varied so widely across countries. The authors’ goal in this report is to close this gap, and explain what accounts for the variable rates of progress among different countries.

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March 26, 2018

South Asian Countries are Committed to Improving Public Investment Management

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Posted by Ha Vu, Lesley Fisher, and Eivind Tandberg

A recent workshop at the IMF’s South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center (SARTTAC) discussed public investment management. The workshop attracted twenty-five senior and mid-level officials from different countries in the region including Bhutan, India (central and state governments), the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Participants demonstrated a strong commitment to improving their national and state-level public investment systems. Countries are at various stages of reviewing their public investment management systems. Some have already undertaken in-depth analysis and initiated action plans while other countries indicated their interest in doing.

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March 19, 2018

Making Gender Equality Operational

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Posted by Carolina Renteria and Johann Seiwald[1]

A workshop on gender budgeting for southeastern European countries was held at the Joint Vienna Institute (JVI) from February 20-22, 2018. The event marked the initial step towards the creation of a new community of practice on gender budgeting in the region. It brought together representatives from ministries of finance and agencies/ministries responsible for gender equality from 13 countries, including Austria which is a world leader in gender budgeting.[2] The motto of the workshop was to “learn from each other”. The participants presented case studies of gender budgeting initiatives in their countries, and discussed plans, achievements, good practices, and challenges.

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March 12, 2018

How Useful are Perception Indices of Corruption to Developing Countries?

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Posted by David Fellows[1]

There are numerous corruption perception indices. They provide an outsider’s impression of the prevalence of corruption across the various branches of government. Some indices focus on issues of bribery, others are more general in scope. Some indices aim to engage with the general public, and others with businesses or NGOs. Perception indices can incentivise governments to tackle corruption given the reputational damage that they can inflict.

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March 08, 2018

Moldova Strengthens Fiscal Risk Management

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Posted by Natalia Sclearuc, Johann Seiwald and Eivind Tandberg[1]

Moldova published its first Fiscal Risk Statement (FRS) in December 2017[2]. The FRS provides a comprehensive overview of key fiscal risks facing the country, and is a useful tool for assessing the consistency and credibility of fiscal policies. Whereas much of this information has been available from various sources in the past, the consolidated presentation allows for assessment of the relative importance of each risk category, and provides a basis for prioritizing risk mitigation measures. The table presents the key fiscal risks in the FRS.

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