African Fiscal Forum on Policy Challenges Facing Sub-Saharan Africa (Cape Town, November 9-10)
Together with the South African National Treasury, FAD organized the first Fiscal Forum that focused on Africa. Participants shared their experiences of dealing with recent food and fuel price shocks and the growth slowdown in 2009. The forum was opened by the South African Deputy Minister of Finance Mr. Nhlanhla Nene, and attended by 50 senior officials from sub-Saharan Africa, academics, and international institutions.
Tokyo Conference on Public Health Care Reform in Asia (October 3)
The event, jointly organized by FAD and the IMF Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (OAP), brought together 60 government officials, academics, and health experts from 11 Asian countries. The discussion focused on ways to contain the growth of health spending in advanced countries—including through the use of budget caps, enhanced reliance on competition among providers and insurance companies, and an effective use of analysis for selecting health interventions. For emerging market countries, challenges include the need to provide universal coverage with a fiscally sustainable package of services. Several Asian countries have successfully reformed their health care system (e.g. Japan, Thailand) and their experiences provided important insights.IMF Deputy Managing Director Min Zhu opened the conference and chaired the concluding policy panel discussion.
FAD Revenue Administration Expands Regional Technical Assistance Dialogue
FAD organized a number of regional conferences to engage senior tax administrators in discussions of developments and revenue administration developments and reform strategies. In collaboration with the Center of Excellence in Finance, it organized a Conference on Tax Administration in South East Europe (Ljubljana, October 5-7) of the heads and senior officials of regional tax agencies, the European Union, and the Intra-European Organization of Tax Administrations (IOTA). The conference provided an opportunity to exchange views on the implications of the global financial crisis for tax administration and ongoing reforms. Another workshop on Revenue Administration Reform Priorities and Effective Implementation in the Middle East (Kuwait City, October 16-20) was jointly organized with the recently established IMF-Middle East Center for Economics and Finance. It was attended by Representatives from 13 countries across the Gulf States, the Middle East and North Africa. Finally, a workshop for eleven Caribbean countries on Strategic Management(Montego Bay, October 20-26) was organized by FAD and the World Bank. The event also marked the launch of the SEMCAR (Supporting Economic Management in the Caribbean) tax administration work program financed by CIDA (Canada).
2011 Winter Conference of the International Consortium on Government Financial Management (ICGFM)
During December 5-7, 120 members of the ICGFM met at the Fund to discuss future key components of Public Financial Management (PFM) systems. Attendance covered a broad array of financial management practitioners from governments, universities, the private sector, and professional associations. The conference included a preview of FAD's forthcoming book "The Emerging Architecture of Public Financial Management in the 21st Century."
Workshop on Automatic Fuel Pricing Mechanisms in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
The WAEMU commission and FAD organized a workshop during August 29–31 focusing on fiscal implications of regional fuel pricing policies. It highlighted the fiscal costs of current approaches to fuel pricing, potential gains from automatic pricing mechanisms, and the need to implement the WAEMU directive on fuel tax harmonization.
Fiscal Monitor Data Visualization Tool
The Fiscal Monitor’s underlying data are now publicly available with a user-friendly data visualization tool.
Tax Reform in the U.K. and the U.S.: Lessons from the Mirrlees Review (Washington, November 22)
FAD organized a presentation of the Mirrlees Review of the UK tax system by its lead authors. The review contains innovative tax policy recommendations that are relevant to many countries.
A New Tool to Assess Underlying Fiscal Positions
A new website provides information on the adjustment of fiscal balances for output cycles and other effects (e.g., commodity, housing, and stock prices, and output composition)—a step in assessing fiscal sustainability. It includes an excel tool based on a technical note by F. Bornhorst and others, and provides an opportunity for feedback from users.
Technical Assistance Activities
During September–December 2011, FAD provided 75 technical assistance missions to IMF member countries and multi-country organizations.
FAD seeks talented and dedicated professionals with a background in different areas of public finance, to work on macro-fiscal policy issues and to provide technical assistance advice to IMF member countries on public financial management, tax policy reform, revenue administration, and different expenditure policy issues. Vacancies in FAD for staff and long-term expert positions are posted on http://www.imf.org/jobs. FAD also seeks experts who are interested in occasional short-term (2–3 week) assignments; interested candidates may send their CVs to FADexperts@imf.org