May 25, 2016

Implementing the PFM Directives in WAEMU

Le Pole

Posted by Jérôme Bonherbe[2]

Directives[3] issued by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) contain many provisions on public financial management (PFM). These provisions include better access to budget information, multiyear budgeting, results-oriented management, decentralized budget execution, and a new accounting and financial monitoring framework. Most of the provisions relating to public information and budget formulation came into effect in 2012. The deadline for implementing the remaining provisions, mainly on budget execution and controls, is set for 2017.

The WAEMU Commission recently carried out a self-assessment of the PFM reforms required by the Directives. This exercise used a tool prepared by the Commission that includes a range of objective, evidence-based indicators for each of the six Directives. A similar approach and tool are being employed by the CEMAC Commission for its countries[4].

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May 23, 2016

The Role of Fiscal Transparency in Combating Corruption

Anti-Corruption London

The statement below, signed by the Finance or Budget and Planning Ministries of Brazil, Paraguay, Philippines, and South Africa, and by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) and the Global Institute for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT), was prepared as part of the Anti-Corruption Summit hosted by the United Kingdom in London on May 12th, 2016.

Fiscal transparency is essential to fight corruption. Our experience, and that of many others like us, has shown that fiscal transparency reduces opportunities to misuse public money undetected and increases the likelihood that those who do so are held to account. While it is not the only factor needed to tackle corruption, it is absolutely a necessary condition. It incorporates some of the biggest sources of corruption in the public sector, including public procurement, tax administration, and the selection and location of major public infrastructure projects. The International Anti-Corruption Summit hosted by the United Kingdom last week provided an important moment to spread this message, and we welcome the summit communiqué, which both recognizes the importance of this factor in the fight against corruption and strongly encourages countries to work to strengthen their fiscal transparency.

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May 20, 2016

Lagarde Stresses Fiscal Transparency as Vital Tool in the Fight Against Corruption

Anti-Corruption London

Last week’s Anti-Corruption Summit hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron in London on May 12, 2016 brought together leaders from over 40 countries; the heads of the IMF, World Bank, and OECD; and representatives from business and civil society in effort to kick start a global effort to crack-down on the theft of public resources and use of public influence for private benefit. 

In her remarks during the morning session on “How to Expose Corruption?” the IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde drew attention to the economic and social cost of corruption and highlighted the important role that fiscal transparency can play in global efforts to combat the misuse of public funds. In particular she drew attention to the IMF’s new Fiscal Transparency Evaluations (FTEs) as the Fund’s key instrument in encouraging governments to be more open about the state of their finances.  The full video of the summit proceedings can be found here with the IMF MD’s intervention coming at 3:15:00 to 3:18:00.

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May 19, 2016

Public Consultation: IMF Natural Resource Fiscal Transparency Code

Fiscal transparency

Posted by Alpa Shah[1]

Following an initial public consultation in 2015, the IMF has released a revised draft of its Natural Resource Fiscal Transparency Code for further discussion and comment, now available on the consultation webpage.

In 2014, the IMF released Pillars I to III of the new and revised Fiscal Transparency Code (FTC). To address the important and specific transparency considerations for resource-rich countries, an initial draft of the Resource Revenue Management pillar (Pillar IV) was released for public consultation in December 2014, attracting extensive comments and feedback from a range of extractive industry stakeholders. In addition, two Fiscal Transparency Evaluations conducted in Peru and Tanzania in 2015 included pilot chapters assessing the principles of Pillar IV. Reflecting both feedback from the consultation and experience of the two pilots, the IMF is now releasing a revised draft of the entire Fiscal Transparency Code for further discussion and comment.

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May 17, 2016

Financial Inclusion: Challenges and Opportunities—New Online Course

University of Salamanca

Posted by
 Dr. Fernando Rodriguez, Dr. Jose Ignacio Sanchez-Macías and Dra. Victoria Muriel-Patino [1]

The University of Salamanca, Spain, recently announced the launch of a new online course on Financial Inclusion: Challenges and Opportunities.

Descripción en español

Registration for the MOOC on "Financial Inclusion: Challenges and Opportunities" can be accessed through https://miriadax.net/web/inclusion-financiera-retos-y-posibilidades

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May 09, 2016

Going Digital: Improving the Disclosure of Fiscal Information

ThinkstockPhotos-160937414

Posted by Paolo de Renzio, Jorge Romero Leon, Diego de la Mora and Liliana Ruiz[1]

Some 20 years ago, putting budget information in the public domain often meant printing and carrying thick reams of paper for distribution to parliamentarians, the press and other interested actors. Nowadays, strong arms and large amounts of paper are no longer a prerequisite for budget transparency and accountability. Government finance officials simply upload information onto their ministry’s website, while journalists and civil society activists sit at their desks and access the information through their computers. Governments have also started making detailed budget information available through “transparency portals,” where large datasets are made available in searchable and downloadable formats. How are governments setting themselves up for fiscal transparency in the digital age? And how do these changes actually affect fiscal transparency and accountability? Recent research[2] carried out by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) and Fundar attempts to answer these questions.

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May 05, 2016

China’s Tax Administration Modernization Strategy

Posted by Juan Toro and John Brondolo[1]

China’s State Administration of Taxation (SAT) has recently published the Blueprint for Deepening the Reform of Tax Administration which provides a roadmap for continuing to modernize tax administration over the next five years. The plan reflects many good practices recommended by IMF technical assistance. There are also a few areas where it can be strengthened, as described below.

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May 03, 2016

Dispelling Fiscal Illusions

Fiscal illusions

Posted by Tim Irwin[1]

There’s a lot talk these days about government balance sheets. You can find them mentioned, for instance, in the April 2016 editions of the Fiscal Monitor, the Global Financial Stability Report, and the World Economic Outlook. The issues discussed there include the sensitivity of government balance sheets to currency depreciation, their links to the balance sheets of banks, and the value of testing how they would stand up to severe economic shocks.

But how much progress have governments made in actually compiling and publishing their balance sheets?

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April 28, 2016

No More “Government Business Enterprises” in IPSASs

IPSASB

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

ThinkstockPhotos-519924516_B

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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