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August 2017

August 30, 2017

Challenges of Implementing a TSA in Africa  

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 By Jean-Philippe Vion[1]

For years, development partners have promoted the implementation of a treasury single account (TSA) in developing countries as the main instrument to optimize cash management. Centralizing all public monies in a single account should strengthen oversight and facilitate the mobilization of idle cash to cover essential expenditure.

The TSA reforms in sub-Saharan Africa have focused mainly so far on coverage. The TSA must be as comprehensive as possible. That means consolidating most of the public entities' bank accounts that are scattered in commercial banks into the national TSA. Consolidation can be achieved by identifying all public bank accounts opened in commercial banks, defining closure plans and transferring the balances to the TSA at the central bank. This approach was successfully implemented, with the support of the IMF, in Mali for instance.[2]

In Francophone Western Africa, the coverage of TSAs has significantly improved over the last years.[3] Now, it’s time to have a look at a second issue, which has not drawn much attention so far. This issue concerns the structure of the national TSA. In many countries, the TSA remains just a set of bank accounts, juxtaposed side by side in the central bank's accounting books, without much linkage between them.

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August 14, 2017

Latin American Treasurers Discuss Controlling Expenditure Arrears

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Posted by Mario Pessoa[1]

The Costa Rican Ministry of Finance recently organized the eighth Latin American Treasury Forum (FOTEGAL) together with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the World Bank[2]. FOTEGAL aims at providing a permanent dialogue for technical discussions and exchange of experiences among the national treasurers of the region. The annual seminar has been a key component of the IMF’s technical assistance program and a testimony of significant improvements in treasury management in Latin America.

The Vice President and Minister of Finance of Costa Rica, Mr. Helio Fallas Venegas, in his opening remarks emphasized the importance of FOTEGAL in exchanging knowledge and identifying opportunities to improve treasury management. The Minister highlighted the role of strong treasuries in controlling the fiscal balance, strengthening budget execution, and improving the coordination of debt management and budgetary control.

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August 08, 2017

Digital Money is Spearheading the Next Wave of Public Financial Management (PFM) Reforms in EAP

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Post by Khuram Farooq and Leah April[1]

The use of digital money is increasingly the dominant PFM reform priority for most governments in the EAP region. This trend is being led by Korea.  China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, and Mongolia are also at various stages of implementing and expanding their use of digital money. With this reform, countries are aiming to transform their government payments, disbursements and receipt systems.

This is the key conclusion from the Public Expenditure Management Network in Asia – Treasury Community of Practice (PEMNA T- COP) meeting, which was held on March 1-2 in Bangkok. Twelve PEMNA member countries from the EAP region participated in the conference. The central theme of the meeting was eliminating and reducing the use of cash in government transactions.

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August 03, 2017

Thinking About ‘Opportunity Savings’

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Posted by David Gentry[1]

A major effort in PFM in the last few decades has been to extend the time horizon of the budget. While there are many variations of a medium-term budget framework (MTBF), and much discussion about the various benefits of each variation, one benefit is common to all. That is, to show more fully the financial consequences of decisions made today. This is often called a baseline.

Like MTBFs, there is no precise definition of a baseline. Most countries publish a medium-term fiscal forecast, comprising a single baseline or baseline scenarios to illustrate uncertainty. In addition, many countries are now publishing baselines for major recurrent programs, some publishing program expenditure forecasts of up to 10 years. Because baselines are inherently policy based, they are not calculated for ministries or other organizational units without regard to the policies they implement.

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