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October 18, 2007

Shedding light on fiscal transparency

Ft_cover All the do’s and don’ts for governments keen to let in the light on their management of the nation’s books. That's the motivation for the revised edition of the Fiscal Transparency Manual, published in hard print on October 18 by the Fiscal Affairs Department. It's more than just a guidebook for countries undertaking a voluntary assessment of fiscal transparency by the IMF under the Reports on Standards and Codes initiative. Inside the revised Manual are detailed explanations and country examples for all 44 good practices of the revised Fiscal Transparency Code. Like its predecessor, published in 2001, the Manual is set to be a major source book for PFM practitioners, academics, parliamentarians and civil society.

Four guiding principles of fiscal transparency shape both the Code and Manual: clarity of roles and responsibilities; open budget processes; public availability of information; and assurances of integrity. In delving into these requirements, the Manual also reveals many crucial aspects of good financial stewardship including public financial management, classification of the public sector, accounting issues, poverty impact assessments, approaches to freedom of information, and ethical standards. The Manual is published on (www.imf.org).

A factsheet: how does the IMF encourage greater fiscal transparency?

Posted by Jon Shields

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