April 24, 2014

Job offer: PFM Advisor, Ljubljana, Slovania

Regional PFM in Advisor, Ljubljana


The Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) of the IMF is seeking an experienced and qualified expert to act as a Regional Public Financial Management Advisor, based in the Center of Excellence in Finance in Ljubljana (Slovenia). The advisor will form part of a regional program of technical assistance in South Eastern Europe (SEE). The Advisor’s position would be for an initial period of one year starting September 30, 2014, with an option to renew based on satisfactory performance.

The advisor will be expected to provide direct advice on PFM issues to a wide range of SEE countries including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. The work program will be designed jointly with individual countries and the and will seek to build on existing efforts to; improve the design of legal and regulatory frameworks framework (including design of fiscal rules, organic budget laws, organization of ministries of finance and independent assessment of fiscal policy design and implementation); develop medium-term budget frameworks and introducing a performance orientation to the budget preparation process; strengthen budget execution and treasury functions including expenditure controls and cash and debt management operations; and improve accounting standards and the coverage and quality of fiscal reporting. Other areas where the advisor may be expected to be involved include offering advice on implementation of financial management information systems and developing financial management capacity in line ministries. The advisor will also be expected to contribute to the work of the Center of Excellence in Finance, mainly through participation in training courses in PFM topics for member countries of the CEF.

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Job offer: PFM Advisor for PFTAC in Suva, Fiji

Regional PFM Advisor for PFTAC in Suva, Fiji


The Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund has a vacancy for a public financial management (PFM) advisor at the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre (PFTAC), based in Suva, Fiji. PFTAC is a collaborative venture between the IMF, the recipient countries, and bilateral and multilateral donors and is responsible for providing technical assistance and training to sixteen Pacific Island Countries.

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April 23, 2014

4th Annual Meeting of the Senior Budget Officials Forum, AFRITAC Central

 Posted by Abdoulahi Mfombouot and Marie-Christine Uguen1

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From 24 to 28 February 2014, Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), hosted the 4th meeting of the Forum of Senior Budget Officials of AFRITAC Central Member Countries (FoHBAC) on the theme “Reforming the State and Consolidating Democracy through the Budget”. The meeting was attended by delegates of all the member countries,2 the main technical and financial partners supporting public financial management (PFM) reform, and members of the Congolese civil society. The meeting, co-organized by the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of the Budget of the DRC and the AFRITAC Center Coordinator, received wide media coverage.

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April 21, 2014

The $3.5 Trillion Question: Why governments establish sovereign wealth funds… and are they working?

Posted by Andrew Bauer1

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This blog is the first of two articles on sovereign wealth funds in a natural resource-rich setting

Since 2000, over 30 governments in natural resource-rich countries have created sovereign wealth funds. More than a dozen more are in a pre-operational phase. In Kenya, Sierra Leone and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, plans are being drawn up. In Uganda, draft legislation has been tabled in parliament. Funds in Colombia and Papua New Guinea have been established but are not yet operational. In fact, nearly all new oil, gas or mineral producers and even several hopeful producers are planning on establishing sovereign wealth funds.

Why do natural resource-rich governments so desire their own sovereign wealth funds? More importantly, given their proliferation and size ($3.5 trillion in assets under management), are these funds serving their purpose(s), justifying their creation?

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April 18, 2014

 Posted by Benoit Taiclet 

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IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde’s visit to Bamako in January took place while Mali is still healing its historical wounds. In 2012, the defeat of the army against insurgents led to a coup d’état which was met with condemnation by the international community and sanctions by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Faced with the withdrawal of external funding, Mali downsized budget appropriations by one-third and fended off challenges to budget discipline. In spite of these efforts, Mali’s total debt rose by 2 percentage points to 35 percent of GDP.

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April 15, 2014

PEMPAL Meeting on Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation

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 Posted by Gelardina Prodani and Hakan Ay1


From March 3-6, 2014, 20 countries representing the PEMPAL Budget Community of Practice (BCOP) in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance of Turkey gathered in Antalya, Turkey for BCOP’s annual plenary meeting.2 The agenda focused on country experiences with results-based monitoring and evaluation (RBME). David Shand, an international expert in this area, acted as the facilitator for the meeting.

The meeting was formally opened by Mr. Ilhan Hatipoglu, the Director General of Budget and Fiscal Control in the Ministry of Finance of Turkey, and Mr. Martin Raiser, Director of the World Bank in Turkey.

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April 11, 2014

Formal vs. Informal Fiscal Rules: Lessons from Sweden

Posted by Ingvar Mattsoni

An unusual political conflict occurred in Sweden in the autumn of 2013. The conflict triggered a fierce debate on fiscal rules between the political parties in the Swedish Parliament, the Riksdag. This is unusual because consensus on fiscal rules has prevailed since the fiscal policy framework was reformed after the economic crisis in the 1990s.

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March 25, 2014

Meeting Rising Pressures to Address Income Inequality—A User’s Guide

Posted by Sanjeev Gupta and Michael Keen

These are difficult times for ministers of finance. Fiscal constraints are tight and raising economic growth a priority. At the same time, income inequality is on the rise, and so is public pressure for governments to do something about it through their tax and spending policies. What’s a minister to do? How can he or she meet these seemingly incompatible demands?

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March 04, 2014

How to Enforce Sanctions against Financial Non-Compliance

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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February 24, 2014

Treasury Management and Government Accounting

Posted by Carlos Pimenta and Mario Pessoa

Events_management_system__Regional_Policy_Dialogue_on_Public_Financial_Management (2)
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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