And the Winners are......!!! Best Read PFM Posts of 2009

Posted by Holger van Eden, with support from Sasha Pitrof and Dimitar Vlahov 

The PFM Blog is happy to report that 2009 was a good year for the Blog. Readership was up by almost 17.5 percent. With some twelve thousand hits per month, the blog seems to be fulfilling a useful role in informing budget and treasury officials, PFM practitioners, academics and students from around the world, on the ideas, trends, and innovations in the wondrous world of public financial management. It also provides staff of the Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) of the IMF, and sister institutions, a convenient way to present their technical assistance activities and research efforts, including most recently the new Technical Notes and Manual series.

The best read blog post this year was sent in by Richard Allen who sadly is retiring from the Fund after a long and fruitful career spanning the UK Treasury, OECD-SIGMA, and the World Bank (it seems the Bank has already reigned him back in as a consultant). He will be sorely missed in FAD. The post is vintage Richard Allen: PFM reforms are much more difficult than countries realize, and are embarked on without due regard for “basic” PFM systems being in place. Reforms often fail. They are cumbersome, multidecade efforts. The support from multilateral institutions is usually misguided, overly ambitious, and overburdening of the capacity for change, etc. Somewhat depressing, but mostly true, alas. If you haven’t read it yet, enjoy!

Other well read posts cover topics in the limelight of PFM development, such as accrual accounting and budgeting, fiscal rules and fiscal responsibility legislation, and performance and gender budgeting. Especially, the increased interest in accounting issues is striking. “Is the accounting profession taking over PFM?” would be a nice blog topic for the coming year, and a very scary thought! In any case feel free to catch up on the best read posts below. Our best wishes to our readers for the New Year!

1. The Challenge of Reforming Budgetary Institutions in Developing Countries, posted by Richard Allen.

2. Comptabilité budgétaire, posted by Benoit Chevauchez.

3. The New Constitutional Deficit Rule for Germany: a New Model Governing Deficit and Debt, posted by Guilhem Blondy.

4. Accrual Accounting for the Public Sector - a fad that has had its day?, posted by Andy Wynne.

5. Budgetary Accounting, posted by Benoit Chevauchez.

6. Accrual Budgeting: What Does it Mean for Fiscal Discipline?, posted by Marc Robinson.

7. Gender Budgeting - What is that?, posted by Davina Jacobs. 

8. FAD Professional Development Seminar on Debt Management, posted by Sailendra Pattanayak.

9. Fiscal Responsibility Laws – More Popular Than Ever Thanks to the Crisis, posted by Holger van Eden.

10. Performance Budgeting Equals Soviet-style Central Planning?, posted by Eivind Tandberg.