April 28, 2016

No More “Government Business Enterprises” in IPSASs

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Posted by Guohua Huang[1]

Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) used to be an important concept in International Public Sector Accounting Standards. Previously, these standards applied to all public sector entities other than GBEs. The IPSAS Board (IPSASB) stated that GBEs applied International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs), which apply to profit-oriented entities, and are issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).

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April 25, 2016

Saluting 40 Years of Accounting Reform in India

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By Suhas Joshi[1]

1976 marked a major step in the Indian accounting reform process with the creation of a new organization called the Controller General of Accounts (CGA). The CGA, as the head of the governmental accounting profession, is the principal advisor to the government on all accounting matters. He is also primarily responsible for establishing and administering a technically sound management accounting system across the government, and for the compilation of the government’s accounts and their submission to the Parliament. The CGA heads the Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS), which was carved out from the Indian Audit & Accounts Service in 1976, following the separation of the accounting and auditing functions in India.

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April 22, 2016

Two New Technical Notes and Manuals

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Posted by Sailendra Pattanayak and Sandeep Saxena[1]

The IMF published this week two new papers in its series of Technical Notes and Manuals (TNMs).

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April 19, 2016

IMF Fiscal Monitor

Posted by PFM Blog Administrator

A recent blog post by Vitor Gaspar [1] and Luc Eyraud [2] of the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department on the IMFdirect Blog highlights the findings in the April 2016 edition of the IMF’s Fiscal Monitor and the  growing fiscal challenges many economies are facing today. The article outlines three major challenges: avoiding the low growth-low inflation trap, addressing the big and lasting drop in revenues, and achieving development goals with constrained budgetary resources. It discusses medium-term fiscal objectives and the importance of policy makers acting both individually and in concert with each other.

[1] Vitor Gaspar is Director of the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department

[2] Luc Eyraud is Deputy Division Chief of the Fiscal Policy Division in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department.

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.

April 18, 2016

Official Launch of PEFA 2016

PEFA logo

Posted by Lewis Hawke [1] and Urška Zrinski [2]

After four years of development, consultation and testing the PEFA 2016 Framework was released on February 1, 2016. [3]   

What is so special about PEFA 2016? What do users think of it? How can it make a difference in understanding and improving public financial management?

These are just some of the questions that will be explored during the PEFA conference and training event in Budapest, Hungary, from April 26-29, 2016. Over 250 delegates from around 50 countries will participate in the event.

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April 13, 2016

Peru Scores Well on Fiscal Transparency

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Posted by Geremia Palomba[1]

What do Peru, Finland, Romania, and the Philippines have in common? They all undertook an assessment of their fiscal transparency practices in 2015 and published the results.

The results for Peru were very positive. According to the IMF, the majority of the assessed practices met good or advanced standards. The outcome is close to the results of the assessments performed in advanced and emerging market countries. The IMF assesses countries’ fiscal transparency practices against the principles of its own Code of Fiscal Transparency and focuses on the three areas of fiscal reporting, fiscal forecasting and budgeting, and fiscal risk management. In the case of Peru, the IMF undertook an additional pilot assessment of the transparency practices in managing resource revenues, as they are critical for good budgeting and sound fiscal policymaking for the country. Over the last decade, revenue from natural resources in Peru represented about 13 percent of general government revenue and 40 percent of local government revenue.

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March 30, 2016

Consolidating Georgia’s Treasury Single Account (TSA)

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Posted by Nino Tchelishvili[1]

Until 2015, self-governing cities and municipalities in Georgia were managing their budgets using commercial bank accounts. These arrangements were seen as a proof of the independence of these self-governing entities, which is guaranteed by law. Public Law Entities (PLEs) founded by central or local governments, which were allowed to undertake economic activities and generate their own revenues, also held accounts in commercial banks. Consolidation of financial reports by municipalities and PLEs took place at the Treasury. However, the quality, timeliness and consistency of this information was constantly questioned. The key problem identified was the poor quality - or even absence - of financial management information systems in municipalities and most PLEs.

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March 23, 2016

Projecting Expenditure Baselines in Barcelona

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Posted by Jordi Baños-Rovira[1]

In recent years, Barcelona City Council has introduced a range of budget reforms to improve the efficiency of resource allocation and operational management[2]. In particular, a performance-based budgeting system (called the “Executive Budget’) has been developed, linked to the goals set in the Government’s Development Plan[3].

A key element of this new budget preparation process is the development of baseline projections of expenditure, which estimate the spending required to maintain current policies (or levels of service) for the next year, and to comply with already approved multi-year commitments. Budget requests by departments thus comprise two elements: the spending baselines, and additional resources required to finance new projects and services, and other policy changes.

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March 18, 2016

Article by CABRI on the Use of Country PFM Systems in Africa

Posted by PFM Blog Administrator

A recent blog post by Neil Cole of CABRI discusses the use of country systems in Africa. The post outlines several cases where development objectives are being achieved using local country systems, and how to strengthen these systems to make more efficient use of aid resources. The increased use of country systems has raised the capacity of governments in areas such as PFM, cross-governmental organization, and the management of donor programs.

CABRI is the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative and a peer-learning and exchange network for senior budget officials working in African Ministries of Finance/Planning.

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.

 

March 16, 2016

More Cheeseparing? Increasing Public Expenditure Efficiency in France

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Posted by Maximilien Queyranne and Jean-Jacques Hallaert1

Jean-Jacques Hallaert and Maximilien Queyranne recently published an IMF Working Paper on France’s spending policy and reforms. They identify areas where there is scope for increasing expenditure efficiency, while maintaining or even improving social and economic outcomes. 

At 57½ percent of GDP, public expenditure in France is among the highest in the world. Spending has outpaced GDP growth for over three decades. Notwithstanding successive tax increases, France has experienced chronically large fiscal deficits and a growing public debt burden, approaching 100 percent of GDP.

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