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November 23, 2007

IMF Fiscal Affairs Department: an Update of Activities in 2007

Snap1_2 Posted by Michel Lazare

For a long time you have suffered from a burning desire to know what the IMF's Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) is up to. You never dared to ask? Well...this posting is made for you!

Already, our PFM Blog's "about" tag on top of this page contains some general information about what is FAD's role.

The attached 4-page flyer (Download fad_flyer1.pdf), which was prepared to provide an update of FAD's activities in 2007 to the participants to the 2007 Annual Meeting of the IMF in October contains an overview of FAD key responsibilities and outputs.

FAD provides services to the IMF's member countries through a number of channels and products:

  • Fiscal policy analysis and advice, in connection with Fund surveillance and financial assistance, aimed at fostering stability and sustainable growth through efficient and equitable fiscal policies.
  • Technical assistance, to help countries improve policies and institutions, through on-site missions and review of legislation, policy proposals, and plans from Fund headquarters or regional TA centers. FAD undertakes over 500 TA missions and expert visits annually, involving in-depth, on-site review and advice.
  • Policy development and research on traditional and emerging fiscal policy issues and trends, often at the direct request of finance ministries; and
  • Outreach, targeted seminars, and training events.

The flyer indicates in each of the key fiscal topics (macro-fiscal analysis, tax policy, revenue administration, public financial management, expenditure policy, decentralization, and fiscal transparency) what have been in the recent past the main focus of FAD's activities. For instance, on expenditure policy, our colleagues from FAD's Expenditure Policy Division have provided advice to a number of member countries on issues relating to short-term expenditure rationalization, public private partnerships (PPP),and have assessed the poverty and social impact of macro-critical policy options through Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA) reports.

This Annual Meetings flyer also lists FAD research activities through:

  • IMF Board papers: e.g., Fiscal Policy Responses to Scaled-up Aid, PPPs and Fiscal Risk, or the Role of Fiscal institutions in managing the Oil Revenue Boom);
  • Selected Issues Papers (SIPs): more than 30 SIPs, which are policy-oriented papers elaborated usually in the context of Article IV consultations with member countries, were prepared for a wide range of developing, emerging, and industrial countries.
  • IMF Working Papers: a number of them were prepared on issues like sequencing structural reforms, assessing expenditure efficiency, etc
  • FAD staff also contributed journal articles and conference papers on a range of fiscal topics including among many others creating fiscal space, fiscal rules and fiscal councils, etc. A book on performance budgeting, edited by our PFM Blog author Marc Robinson, was also recently published by FAD.

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