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October 2015

October 28, 2015

Steady Progress on PFM Reform in Cambodia


Posted by Suhas Joshi and Frans Ronsholt[1]

Work on preparing the 2015 Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessment for Cambodia is nearing completion. A high-level workshop to discuss the draft report was held recently in Phnom Penh, and the final report is expected to be issued by late November.

This latest PEFA assessment updates the one completed in 2010. The main objectives of the exercise were to update the PFM reform action plan, track progress since the 2010 assessment, and develop internal capacity to enable any future PEFA assessments to be carried out independently.

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October 16, 2015

Strengthening External Audit at Subnational Level in Brazil


Posted by Francisco Javier Urra[1]

The early 1990s was a turning point for the Brazilian economy. After successive crises and pervasive macro-economic instability, the so-called “Plano Real” restored balance to the economy and brought inflation under control through a mix of policies that included price de-indexation, fiscal adjustment, monetary contraction and the adoption of a fixed exchange rate. A new Fiscal Responsibility Act (LRF, Lei de Responsabilidade Fiscal, Act n.101/2000) become the cornerstone of sound macroeconomic management and fiscal discipline, both at federal and subnational level.

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October 13, 2015

Getting the Dog to Bark: Disclosing Fiscal Risks from the Financial Sector



Posted by Tim Irwin[1]

For many years, the IMF has said that governments should publish statements of fiscal risk—or reports that explain what could cause the government’s debt and deficit to be higher than forecast. A question that arises is whether these statements should disclose implicit guarantees, or the risk that the government will have to rescue a failing bank even if it has no legal obligation to do so. Careless talk could exacerbate the problem of moral hazard, or even trigger a bank run. Yet a statement that says nothing about implicit guarantees ignores one of the biggest risks around. In the United Kingdom, to take a striking example, the nationalization of banks during the financial crisis caused gross public debt to rise from 51 to 202 percent of GDP in the space of a year—an effect that few other fiscal risks could produce.[2]

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October 05, 2015

Finance Ministries, Social Media and PFM

Posted by David Fellows and John Leonardo[1]

What contribution does the Social Media have to make to improving PFM and fiscal transparency? In a recent study, we found that 26 of the 34 OECD states had Twitter sites and 18 had a Facebook presence.[2] Further work on African countries revealed that 11 finance ministries have active Facebook accounts (Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia) with four of these using Twitter on a regular basis (see table below). The number of African Facebook accounts stood at 51.6 million as at 31st December 2012 and more than doubled to 120million by 30 June 2015. Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya accounted for a quarter of this total but other African countries have been gaining ground. There appears to be a moderate correlation between internet use and per capita GDP for the group (excluding Somalia).

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