Posted by Yugo Koshima and Olya Kroytor1
Many budget system laws include provisions to impose sanctions in cases of financial non-compliance during the budget execution process. Historically, most legal frameworks have involved sanctions on individual officers, rather than on the spending agencies they are working for. Although enforcement of financial regulations is often buttressed by sanctions, sanctions often end up as a last resort solution and in practice are rarely exercised. So, what should an effective sanctions regime look like under a modern budget system law? Reflecting on this question, it is helpful to explore legal developments in several jurisdictions.
In some countries, sanctions under the budget system law center on the notion of strict personal liability of individual officers in the payment process. In brief, “strict liability” means that a person is legally responsible for the damage or loss regardless of fault (negligence or intentional act). For example:
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Posted by Carlos Pimenta and Mario Pessoa
A high-level seminar, bringing together treasurers and accountant generals of Latin American and Caribbean countries, was held in Washington DC on February 12-14. The participants discussed key issues on treasury management and public sector accounting, and defined a common agenda to facilitate future coordination and technical developments.
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Posted by David Nummy, ICGFM Vice-President for Programs
One outcome of the global financial crisis has been the recognition that improved Public Financial Management was critical to management of the crisis as well as part of future prevention efforst. New approaches to the core elements of the PFM cycle have been employed and interest has grown in better methods to effectively manage resources. ICGFM will explore the innovations in PFM that have emerged as well as practices that are recognized as effective at its upcoming 28th Annual International Training Conference in Miami from May 19-23, 2014.
Continue reading "ICGFM Issues Call for Speakers for 28th Annual Training Conference, May 19-23, 2014, Miami, Florida, USA" »
The World Bank Group (WBG)’s Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Unit (PREM) in the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Region handles the region’s work on economic policy, public sector management and governance, social inclusion, and access to equal economic opportunities. In Romania, the Bank supports public sector and institutional modernization through a range of activities, including lending programs and Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS).
Continue reading "Job offer: Senior Public Sector Management Specialist in Bucharest, Romania (World Bank #140135)" »
Posted by Johann Seiwald1
Since the late 1980s, many governments have moved away from traditional Public Administration (PA) systems – which highlight the importance of hierarchy, legal rules, and a clear division of labor within the administrative system - in favor of the New Public Management (NPM) model. More recently, a new “Public Governance” (PG) model has emerged which emphasizes concepts and values such as accountability, transparency and participation (see box below). One model does not necessarily supplant the others. In some countries, elements of all three models coexist, and can complement each other.
Continue reading "Matching the Talk to the Walk?" »
Posted by Guy Anderson and Yasemin Hurcan1
The East AFRITAC member countries (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda) have been progressively rationalizing their banking arrangements and strengthening their cash management techniques. These improvements have been enabled by the wider use of financial management information systems (FMIS), improved banking systems and increased connectivity. However, despite some notable successes, the banking and cash management regimes in many of the countries continue to underperform. Problems include: significant government-controlled bank balances outside of the computed cash position; unreliable cash forecasting; and the passive use of cash management instruments. The result has been higher borrowing costs, a reliance on cash rationing techniques to determine budget releases, difficulties in planning and implementing the approved budget, and an increased risk of accumulating payment arrears.
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Posted by Benoit Chevauchez
PFM experts will be familiar with the “anglo-franco derby” of budget systems. Many countries follow the so-called anglo-saxon model – as termed by the French - while others follow the francophone model. Most PFM experts have some implicit preference for one or other of these models, which more broadly reflect the British/Westiminster and French traditions of public administration. What are the realities at stake behind this friendly competition?
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The recent financial crisis revealed substantial shortcomings in financial reporting practices in the public sector underscoring the importance of comprehensive, reliable, and timely financial reporting by governments. There is currently an urgent need to improve governments’ understanding of their fiscal position and prospects, and to provide legislators, markets, and citizens with the information they need to make efficient financial decisions and to hold governments accountable for their performance. Establishing and disseminating high quality accounting standards for the public sector are critical to bringing about this change towards more fiscal transparency.
Continue reading "Public consultation on the future governance of the IPSASB" »
Posted by Carlos Scartascini*
The recent CAPE 2013 conference organized by ODI provided a forum for discussing where PFM is and where it is going. While many interesting issues arose from the discussions, one theme was ever present: namely, the importance of considering PFM as much more than a purely technocratic process. Politics matter, and they tend to determine the way reforms are implemented, and their probability of success. In this note, I highlight the reasons why politics matter for the budget process and how this issue can be dealt with.
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Posted by Jordi Baños-Rovira
Barcelona City Council has shown what can be done in turning around a huge fiscal imbalances in 2009-11 into a moderate level of debt and a fiscal surplus in 2013. The budget for the fiscal year 2014 shows an 11% increase in expenditures (22% for capital expenditures), prioritizing programs that contribute to the protection of the most vulnerable people and reinforce economic growth, while maintaining a fiscal surplus, freezing tax rates and maintaining a moderate level of debt.
Continue reading "Barcelona Promotes Fiscal Health and Strong Economic Performance" »