The Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) provides policy and technical advice on public finance issues to the IMF's member countries through contributions to the work of area departments and technical assistance (TA). FAD economists take part in area department missions, principally Use of Fund Resources (UFR) missions, where fiscal issues are important. FAD staff also review the fiscal content of Fund policy advice and adjustment programs supported by the Fund. FAD staff, consultants, and experts provide direct TA to member countries on public finance issues. FAD staff conduct research and policy studies. FAD is also primarily responsible for the Fund's work on income distribution and poverty, social safety nets, public expenditure policy issues, and the environment.
To fulfill these responsibilities, the department:
- Assigns economists to UFR missions that face important public finance problems, typically in negotiations for Fund-supported programs; participates in selected Article IV missions.
- Reviews briefing memoranda and Board papers and gives comments and advice on the fiscal aspects of Fund-supported programs; comments on Fund policy papers prepared by other departments, with special emphasis on fiscal issues.
- Provides technical assistance on public finance matters through missions typically led by senior staff from FAD and supported by headquarters-based consultants and members of the Panel of Fiscal Experts; in addition, experts are assigned on a resident basis in member countries, giving advice principally in the areas of tax administration and public financial management.
- Conducts policy-oriented studies in the fiscal area to improve the basis for informed and reliable technical assistance and for staff appraisals of country fiscal problems.
- Conducts work on fiscal transparency including: preparation of fiscal modules for Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSCs); development of the Code of Good Practices on Fiscal Transparency and Manual on Fiscal Transparency; and coordination FAD's work on fiscal transparency with
broader activities of the Fund.
- Assumes primary responsibility, in collaboration with the IMF Institute, for public finance courses held each year in Washington, the Joint Africa Institute, Joint Vienna Institute, and Singapore Training Institute.
- Collaborates with RES and area departments on the compilation and analysis of fiscal data for the World Economic Outlook (WEO).
- Maintains contact with the World Bank on public finance matters, including participation by departmental staff in World Bank missions, participation by World Bank staff members in FAD technical assistance
missions, and collaboration in the areas of joint seminars and methodologies for public expenditure reviews.
- Collaborates with universities, research institutes, and other international organizations, including the UN and OECD, on public finance matters.
- Sends FAD staff members to present papers at professional conferences.
- Occasionally organizes conferences on broad issues of fiscal policy concern (e.g., growth and income distribution, macroeconomics and the environment).
- And, last but not least,....publishes the PFM Blog!
Public Financial Management Divisions 1 and 2 (M1, M2)1
- Provide technical assistance in PFM, including: budget formulation and the development of medium-term expenditure frameworks; budget classification and performance indicators; budget execution and the control of commitments and arrears; treasury operations; debt management; and multi-level fiscal management.
- Conduct work on fiscal transparency, including undertaking fiscal transparency assessments, preparing fiscal ROSC modules to be posted on the internet, and updating and revising the manual on fiscal transparency and the fiscal transparency questionnaire.
- Conduct and coordinate work on issues of fiscal data quality and misreporting through the provision of staff for area department missions and technical assistance missions.
- Backstop technical advisors in public financial management.
- Design and provide training to senior officials of member countries, principally through seminars on fiscal transparency and public financial management in public finance courses at the Fund headquarters or other locations, including at decentralized IMF-supported training centers.
- Review work by area departments and other FAD divisions within the indicated public financial management areas.
- Produce policy papers on topics related to transparency and public financial management.
- Cooperate and coordinate with other international organizations providing similar technical assistance and disseminates international best practices among members.
Department countries, Middle East & Central Asia Department countries, and European Department countries. M2 covers Non Anglophone African Department countries (i.e., all Francophone and Lusophone
Sub-Saharan African countries and Equatorial Guinea), Western Hemisphere Department countries and Asia Pacific Department countries.