June 01, 2017

Brazil’s Efforts to Improve Fiscal Transparency


Posted by Paulo Medas [1]

An increasing number of countries have done an assessment of their fiscal transparency practices against the principles in the IMF’s Code of Fiscal Transparency. Brazil did so in 2016, amidst ongoing efforts to upgrade transparency. The IMF just published the results.

According to the IMF, Brazil’s practices meet many of the principles of the Fiscal Transparency Code at good or advanced levels. Brazil has made significant progress over recent decades in providing regular information on the budget and its implementation at all levels of government. For example, fiscal statistics encompass the general government sector and recognize most of the government’s assets and liabilities. Fiscal reports are published frequently and annual financial statements are audited. The institutional scope of budget documentation is comprehensive and extensive budgetary information is made available to the general public. Since 2010 a Citizens Budget has been  published which provides core information in a non-technical manner. Brazil is also a leading country in providing citizens with a formal voice in budget deliberations. Elected representatives of National Councils and committees and representatives of civil society can contribute to the planning and budget processes, including through participation in public hearings.

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May 08, 2017

Brazil Publishes an Enhanced Fiscal Risk Statement


Posted by Daniel Borges[1] and Luis Felipe Vital N Pereira[2]

Since 2002 the Brazilian government has published an annual fiscal risk statement (FRS), making Brazil one of the pioneers in transparency of fiscal risks. This statement is published as an annex to the proposed Budget Guidelines Law, which is submitted by the Executive branch to Congress in April each year. The Brazilian Fiscal Responsibility Law (Complementary Law No 101, 2000), requires the publication of a FRS which provides an assessment of contingent liabilities and general risks that could influence the current budget.

During the FRS’s first decade, Brazil experienced strong economic growth, supported by stable and favorable domestic and international conditions including high commodity prices, controlled inflation and the strong commitment of federal and local governments to delivering primary surpluses. Under these circumstances, the FRS received very limited attention and was considered a bureaucratic document to fulfill a legal obligation.

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April 26, 2017

Investing in Children and Budget Transparency in Africa

Investing in Children

Posted by Jean Dupraz, Vivek Ramkumar, and Matthew Cummins[1]

Africa is undergoing a seismic demographic shift. Over the next 35 years, the under-18 population will grow by more than two-thirds to reach almost 1 billion by 2050. As these children reach working age, countries across the continent can benefit from accelerated economic growth via a demographic dividend. However, realizing this potential is only possible if more and better investments are made in key child-related sectors.

The proportion of children living in monetary and non-monetary poverty remains very high across the continent. Indeed, this ongoing population growth means that there are already more income-poor children in Africa today than when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were launched in 1990.

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January 03, 2017

Guatemala: Fiscal Transparency Evaluation


Posted by Mario Pessoa[1]

The International Monetary Fund has published a Fiscal Transparency Evaluation (FTE) report for Guatemala.

In many areas Guatemala performs well against the standards set by the IMF’s Fiscal Transparency Code. Some eight of the Code’s 36 principles are rated as either “good” or “advanced,” 17 principles are rated as “basic,” and in ten areas the basic requirements of the Code are “not met.” One dimension was not assessed, as there are no existing public-private partnership contracts in Guatemala.

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November 10, 2016

How to Check Integrity of Fiscal Data


Posted by Benoit Wiest and Pokar Khemani[1]

Why is integrity of fiscal data so important?  Fiscal data relates to the use of public funds and its accurate reporting is a high priority for governments and donors, as well as for the IMF in its work on surveillance and program monitoring. Comprehensive fiscal reporting in line with international standards such as the IMF’s Fiscal Transparency Code and the Government Finance Statistics Manual (GFSM 2014) provides reasonable assurance about a government’s fiscal position and the integrity of the underlying data. However, the accuracy and reliability of government accounts and fiscal data can still be an issue. In many cases, the data provided by the authorities for program monitoring and surveillance are characterized by significant and persistent statistical discrepancies between the fiscal balance (“above-the-line”) and net financing (“below-the line”). These discrepancies are usually an indication of underlying weaknesses in a country’s public financial management (PFM) system, as well as issues with the integrity of financial data, and processes for collecting and disseminating this information. Significant and persistent discrepancies in data may require an investigation, and the development of specific measures to deal with these issues.

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October 14, 2016

Ten Tips to Improve the Transparency of Budget Documents

Posted by Greg Rosenberg[1]

Many countries produce voluminous budget documentation, with reports that run for hundreds of pages, and thousands of pages of raw data[2]. The main documents form a verbose, jargon-heavy, disjointed collection of policies, spending programs, and irrelevant or marginally relevant details, with little analysis of macroeconomic or fiscal trends. In a few countries, the story is different. The budget documents are concise and plainly written. They focus on relevant information, with frank analysis of expenditure and revenue trends, and explain clearly how public finances are being managed.  

Producing transparent budget documents requires policy makers to explain complex concepts to a range of audiences. Doing so has tangible benefits. Clear, transparent budget documents can strengthen policy impact, fiscal planning, legislative oversight, and citizen involvement. Such reports enable policy makers to send signals about developing economic and fiscal trends, helping to shape public debate and foreshadowing future responses. 

An open budget that acknowledges economic and fiscal realities, in a way that is easily understood, supports accountability and effective budget planning. It enables civil society organizations to engage with the budget. This, in turn, strengthens the social contract between citizens and the state. And, crucially, the act of clear writing itself helps finance ministries to refine their own thinking on budget strategy and policy, leading to better and more coherent policy choices.

All of this may sound elementary, but experience suggests that it is not.

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September 15, 2016

The (Fiscal) Benefits of Transparency

Transparency Fiscal Benefits

Posted by Ben Roseth[1] and Carlos Santiso[2]

Crime doesn’t pay, but what about corruption?

Since the 1960s, some have argued that corruption is the grease on the wheels of development. Inefficient bureaucracies need graft to help circumvent roadblocks of excessive red tape or unmotivated civil servants, increase efficiency and improve outcomes in investment and overall economic growth (see Leff 1964, Leys 1964). This line of argumentation has been pushed back with a slew of empirical research. Numerous widely cited articles now document the deleterious effects of corruption on governance and the rule of law, on economic growth and public investment, and more.  

Nevertheless, in the real world, corruption is still a scourge. Recent events in Latin America have reminded us just how harmful corruption can be. But once the tide of scandals and protests has subsided, will anyone care about corruption? As policymakers and civil servants navigate the turbulent waters of anti-corruption policy design and implementation, perhaps it is useful to focus on a timeless outcome: money. Simply put, when a country suffers from corruption, everyone pays. And when a country improves its corruption indicators, everyone stands to gain.

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May 23, 2016

The Role of Fiscal Transparency in Combating Corruption

Anti-Corruption London

The statement below, signed by the Finance or Budget and Planning Ministries of Brazil, Paraguay, Philippines, and South Africa, and by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) and the Global Institute for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT), was prepared as part of the Anti-Corruption Summit hosted by the United Kingdom in London on May 12th, 2016.

Fiscal transparency is essential to fight corruption. Our experience, and that of many others like us, has shown that fiscal transparency reduces opportunities to misuse public money undetected and increases the likelihood that those who do so are held to account. While it is not the only factor needed to tackle corruption, it is absolutely a necessary condition. It incorporates some of the biggest sources of corruption in the public sector, including public procurement, tax administration, and the selection and location of major public infrastructure projects. The International Anti-Corruption Summit hosted by the United Kingdom last week provided an important moment to spread this message, and we welcome the summit communiqué, which both recognizes the importance of this factor in the fight against corruption and strongly encourages countries to work to strengthen their fiscal transparency.

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May 20, 2016

Lagarde Stresses Fiscal Transparency as Vital Tool in the Fight Against Corruption

Anti-Corruption London

Last week’s Anti-Corruption Summit hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron in London on May 12, 2016 brought together leaders from over 40 countries; the heads of the IMF, World Bank, and OECD; and representatives from business and civil society in effort to kick start a global effort to crack-down on the theft of public resources and use of public influence for private benefit. 

In her remarks during the morning session on “How to Expose Corruption?” the IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde drew attention to the economic and social cost of corruption and highlighted the important role that fiscal transparency can play in global efforts to combat the misuse of public funds. In particular she drew attention to the IMF’s new Fiscal Transparency Evaluations (FTEs) as the Fund’s key instrument in encouraging governments to be more open about the state of their finances.  The full video of the summit proceedings can be found here with the IMF MD’s intervention coming at 3:15:00 to 3:18:00.

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May 19, 2016

Public Consultation: IMF Natural Resource Fiscal Transparency Code

Fiscal transparency

Posted by Alpa Shah[1]

Following an initial public consultation in 2015, the IMF has released a revised draft of its Natural Resource Fiscal Transparency Code for further discussion and comment, now available on the consultation webpage.

In 2014, the IMF released Pillars I to III of the new and revised Fiscal Transparency Code (FTC). To address the important and specific transparency considerations for resource-rich countries, an initial draft of the Resource Revenue Management pillar (Pillar IV) was released for public consultation in December 2014, attracting extensive comments and feedback from a range of extractive industry stakeholders. In addition, two Fiscal Transparency Evaluations conducted in Peru and Tanzania in 2015 included pilot chapters assessing the principles of Pillar IV. Reflecting both feedback from the consultation and experience of the two pilots, the IMF is now releasing a revised draft of the entire Fiscal Transparency Code for further discussion and comment.

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May 09, 2016

Going Digital: Improving the Disclosure of Fiscal Information


Posted by Paolo de Renzio, Jorge Romero Leon, Diego de la Mora and Liliana Ruiz[1]

Some 20 years ago, putting budget information in the public domain often meant printing and carrying thick reams of paper for distribution to parliamentarians, the press and other interested actors. Nowadays, strong arms and large amounts of paper are no longer a prerequisite for budget transparency and accountability. Government finance officials simply upload information onto their ministry’s website, while journalists and civil society activists sit at their desks and access the information through their computers. Governments have also started making detailed budget information available through “transparency portals,” where large datasets are made available in searchable and downloadable formats. How are governments setting themselves up for fiscal transparency in the digital age? And how do these changes actually affect fiscal transparency and accountability? Recent research[2] carried out by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) and Fundar attempts to answer these questions.

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April 13, 2016

Peru Scores Well on Fiscal Transparency

ThinkstockPhotos-513298734 (version2)

Posted by Geremia Palomba[1]

What do Peru, Finland, Romania, and the Philippines have in common? They all undertook an assessment of their fiscal transparency practices in 2015 and published the results.

The results for Peru were very positive. According to the IMF, the majority of the assessed practices met good or advanced standards. The outcome is close to the results of the assessments performed in advanced and emerging market countries. The IMF assesses countries’ fiscal transparency practices against the principles of its own Code of Fiscal Transparency and focuses on the three areas of fiscal reporting, fiscal forecasting and budgeting, and fiscal risk management. In the case of Peru, the IMF undertook an additional pilot assessment of the transparency practices in managing resource revenues, as they are critical for good budgeting and sound fiscal policymaking for the country. Over the last decade, revenue from natural resources in Peru represented about 13 percent of general government revenue and 40 percent of local government revenue.

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September 24, 2015

Trends in Fiscal Transparency

Wp15188 1

Posted by Rachel Wang, Tim Irwin, and Lewis Murara[1]

What do El Salvador, Hong Kong, Russia, and the Slovak Republic have in common? They are the only economies that submit fully comprehensive government finance statistics to the IMF. That is one of the results of a recently published Working Paper, Trends in Fiscal Transparency: Evidence from a New Database of the Coverage of Fiscal Reporting.

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September 04, 2015

Does it Make any Difference? Reviewing the Impacts of Fiscal Transparency and Participation

GIFT logo
Posted by Paolo de Renzio[1]

 Advocates of fiscal transparency and public participation in budget processes are often faced with the awkward “so what” question posed by skeptics. “It’s all good for you to say that transparency and participation are important”, the skeptical questioner asks, “but can you in fact show that they make any real difference?”.

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May 26, 2015

Mozambique’s Fiscal Transparency Evaluation


Posted by Xavier Rame, Delphine Moretti, and Esther Palacio[1]

The IMF has recently published a Fiscal Transparency Evaluation (FTE) report for Mozambique. (English/Português) This evaluation was the first to be undertaken in Africa. It shows that Mozambique has made substantial progress in making fiscal information available to the public, but highlights the scope for improvements to the budget documentation and fiscal reports, and further transparency on fiscal risks. The Mozambique FTE is one of ten pilots of the IMF’s new methodology for assessing countries’ fiscal transparency practices, and should help build a more complete picture of governments’ financial accountability practices around the world.

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May 20, 2015

Enhancing Fiscal Reporting & Transparency in East Africa

Afritac east logo


Posted by Amitabh Tripathi[1] 

East AFRITAC (AFE) countries[2] have been progressively improving their fiscal reporting practices. These practices have benefitted from wider reform efforts including strengthening of the PFM legal and regulatory frameworks, extending and enhancing the functionalities of IFMIS and progressive improvements in the timeliness and comprehensiveness of in-year and end-year fiscal reports. However, despite some notable improvements, the fiscal reporting function in many of the countries continues to underperform. Common problems include: unclear definition and classification of public entities in the legal framework that adversely impacts the coverage of fiscal reports; lack of timeliness and regularity in the publication of in-year reports and consolidated annual financial statements; failure to adopt internationally accepted standards; and inadequate reporting of expenditure arrears and contingent liabilities.   

These issues have become more significant in the context of the East African Monetary Union (EAMU) protocol that requires harmonization of PFM legal frameworks and fiscal reporting for partner countries, four of which are part of the AFE constituency. Accordingly, following requests from some of its member countries, AFE organized a four-day regional workshop on “Enhancing Fiscal Reporting and Transparency” in Arusha, Tanzania during April 2015. The workshop was attended by twenty-eight officials from the Ministries of Finance and Planning in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania (including Zanzibar) and Uganda.   

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May 08, 2015

GFSM 2014 – the Quest for Comparable Fiscal Data


Posted by Sagé de Clerck[1]

With the release of the 2012 IMF Board Decision on Bilateral and Multilateral Surveillance, the Fund’s Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, made a statement that: “In the current challenging and highly interconnected global economic environment, it is critical to have effective surveillance to enable the early detection of risks and provide timely policy advice.” What was not explicitly stated, but implicitly understood by all, is that such surveillance and policy advice in a globally interconnected world depend on the availability of accurate and timely statistical data. Such data should be relevant, accurate and timely, and allow comparisons to be made across different time periods, and different regions and countries.

How do we derive comparable fiscal data?

The Government Finance Statistics (GFS) frameworkprovides a potential solution to the challenges highlighted by Christine Lagarde, so far as the fiscal area is concerned.The 2001 version of GFS introduced an integrated framework of stocks and flows, concepts, definitions, and classifications. It assisted compilers to prepare and report fiscal data for policy making and analysis in a consistent and comparable manner. A further step forward has been made with the recent release of the 2014 version of the GFS manual (GFSM 2014).

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March 03, 2015

New Governance Arrangements for the IPSAS Board


Posted by Delphine Moretti

Following a year-long consultation, the IMF-OECD-World Bank-chaired Review Group on the Governance of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) has today issued its recommendations for strengthening the oversight of the IPSAS Board. They include the establishment of a new Public Interest Committee whose founding members will be the IMF, OECD, World Bank, and INTOSAI and a new Consultative Advisory Group comprised of producers and users of government financial statements.

As discussed several times on this blog and in the IMF’s 2012 paper on “Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Risk”, the global financial crisis highlighted the significant gaps and weaknesses in public sector accounting practices and underscored the need for more comprehensive, reliable, and timely financial reporting by governments. These concerns were echoed by the G-20 at their meeting in Moscow in February 2013, when they called on the IMF, World Bank, and OECD to work to improve the transparency and comparability of public sector financial reporting.

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January 30, 2015

Angels and Demons – the Political Economy of PFM Reform

 Angels and Demons
Posted by Richard Allen1

In a thought-provoking presentation during the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department’s (FAD) 50th Anniversary Conference on December 5, 2014, Professor Ravi Kanbur of Cornell University analyzed the intellectual origins and roots of FAD.  In his view, these roots derive not from the influence of Keynes, one of the founding fathers of the IMF, who was more concerned with issues of monetary policy and balance of payments stabilization than with fiscal policy. A much stronger influence on FAD’s development was one of Keynes’ illustrious colleagues at Cambridge University, Arthur Pigou. Professor Kanbur’s main thesis [Presentation_Available here (.ppt)], however, was that FAD, while responsible for many important applications of fiscal policy, had taken little advantage of important recent work on political economy analysis, and the application of behavioral economics to fiscal issues. These developments derive from the work of notable economists such as Knut Wicksell and 2002 Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman. Another strong influence has been the work on public choice theory and the economics of state bureaucracy, a line running from Pareto, through the great Italian school of public finance to the work of scholars such as Buchanan, Tullock and Peacock.

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January 22, 2015

The OBS Tracker: A new Tool for Continuous Monitoring of Budget Transparency

Transparency (2)











Posted by Paolo de Renzio1

Based on international standards like the recently updated IMF Code of Good Practices on Fiscal Transparency, the Open Budget Survey (OBS) – carried out every two years by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) – has been providing independent and comparable data and analysis on the transparency of government budgets since 2006. Now covering over 100 countries, the OBS – and its resulting Open Budget Index – has come to be seen as an important reference for assessing the public availability and comprehensiveness of budget documents that governments produce and publish.

The Survey is based on a thorough process that takes up to 18 months to complete, and that relies on local researchers and independent peer reviews, including from the governments being assessed. Many have noted how the two-year gap between surveys does not allow for a continuous monitoring of budget transparency, and for civil society actors to keep up the pressure on governments to open up their budgets to public scrutiny. As a consequence, IBP has recently launched a new tool – the OBS Tracker – which aims to fill this gap by providing monthly updates on the publication of key budget documents by the 30 governments that are part of its pilot phase.

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November 17, 2014

How Far Can the IMF’s New Fiscal Transparency Code Take Us?


Posted by Carlos Scartascini [1]

The Fiscal Affairs Department at the IMF has been a (if not the) leader on fiscal research, policy analysis, and data generation in the world for the last 50 years. It has influenced the work of scholars, contributed to the development of professionals and policymakers, and more importantly, had a direct impact on the lives of millions of people in the developed and developing world.

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November 10, 2014

A New FMIS Handbook


Posted by Cem Dener[1]

Implementing Financial Management Information System (FMIS) solutions is not an easy task, and entails the allocation of significant resources and substantial capacity building efforts. FMIS can be a powerful tool, if designed to meet specific user requirements, and well aligned to a country’s PFM reform strategy and a realistic action plan. Moreover, the development of a countrywide FMIS solution and information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure will be more useful when it is an integral part of a coherent national e-Government strategy. The risks of supply-driven or market-driven choices of FMIS solutions are high. They should be counter-balanced by giving due attention to the design of a tool that is both flexible and responsive to the needs of its ultimate users. FMIS systems are no replacement for good management and robust internal controls, and will not be very useful if budget coverage itself is limited, or budget planning/execution practices are not well established or integrated.

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October 16, 2014

Putting Accountability with Teeth into Fiscal Transparency

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Posted by Jules Muis1

On October 6, the IMF and the World Bank held a seminar on progress made in their fiscal transparency efforts. An almost full house was briefed about the revamped IMF Fiscal Transparency Code and Evaluation, and parallel plans for updating the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) framework. The related Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) was used as an example of how public-private initiatives could give a transparency initiative ownership, traction and increased impact.

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October 08, 2014

IMF-World Bank Seminar on New Fiscal Transparency Code and PEFA Framework

Posted by Richard Hughes1

On October 6, the 2014 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings kicked off with a seminar on the new Fiscal Transparency Code and PEFA Framework, two of the key international standards for fiscal disclosure and management.

This joint IMF-World Bank event provided an opportunity to learn about and discuss the changes to these important tools for benchmarking the quality of countries’ fiscal transparency and management practices. It also marked the official launch of the public consultation of the fourth and final pillar of the Fiscal Transparency Code on Natural Resource Revenue Management.

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December 05, 2013

The Late-Twentieth-Century Revolution in Fiscal Transparency


Posted by Tim Irwin 

The nineteenth century saw a revolution in the publication of fiscal information and other government data. As Ian Hacking has observed, “If there is a contrast in point of official statistics between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it is that the former feared to reveal, while the latter loved to publish” (p. 20). Yet some governments today make their nineteenth-century counterparts seem like shrinking violets—the new openness being symbolized by the remodeled German parliament shown above, whose glass cupola was designed to show that parliament was “transparent, its activities open to view” (see Alasdair Roberts, Blacked Out, p. xii).

The earlier revolution was discussed in two previous posts on this blog (here and here). This post investigates the changes of the late twentieth century.

The early years of this revolution are nicely illustrated in the episode “Open Government” of the British TV series Yes Minister,[1] which screened in 1980 when the UK government published its budget and accounts, but was not nearly as open as it is now. A new government has just been elected and the incoming Minister of Administrative Affairs meets the Permanent Secretary of his department. It transpires that they have met before when the Minister, in opposition, gave the PS “a grilling over the Estimates in the Public Accounts Committee.”

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November 21, 2013

Budgeting in the Real World - What Do We Know? What Should We Do?

This is the keynote speech given last week, November 13th, by Antoinette Sayeh, Director of the IMF’s African Department at the UK’s Overseas Development Institute’s annual CAPE Conference in London on why PFM matters, why reforms are difficult, and what we know to make them successful…..


I am delighted to have the opportunity to deliver this keynote address and would like to thank Messrs. Ed Hedger, Kevin Watkins, and Philip Krause for inviting me to this important conference and for that generous introduction.

Let me start by saying that from the IMF’s perspective, good governance is important for countries at all stages of development. Transparent government accounts and effective public resource management are preconditions for sustained economic growth and prosperity. Indeed, budget formulation, implementation, and oversight lie at the core of good economic governance. Strong budget institutions are essential for countries to achieve sound fiscal policies and effective expenditure programs. Budgets can only be spent once. Getting the priorities right all the way from formulation to execution, and being efficient at it, is all the more important. Transparency and fairness are most important in ensuring that expenditures are aligned with broadly agreed priorities, and in securing society’s buy-in. While most can agree to the underlying principles, the hard part is to have systems and capacity in place that actually ensure that they are respected all along the process chain. As so often, the devil is in the detail. 

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November 13, 2013

How Long Does it Take to Achieve Fiscal Transparency?

Posted by Tim Irwin

In many developing and emerging economies today there are demands for more fiscal transparency, to stop the misuse of public funds. How long might it take for these demands to translate into the kind of transparency achieved in countries like France, Sweden, and the United Kingdom? (The Open Budget Survey has information on fiscal transparency in these three countries and many others.) This new working paper on the history of fiscal transparency in Western Europe (see earlier blog) doesn’t aim to answer questions about developing and emerging economies, but it may provoke some thoughts on the subject.

The evidence it presents can be read in two different ways. On the one hand, there were debates about fiscal transparency in Europe two hundred years ago, which suggests that the transition from secrecy to transparency could be a long one. To illustrate, it’s perhaps worth quoting three advocates of transparency who, for reasons of space, didn’t get discussed in the working paper.

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October 29, 2013

History of Fiscal Transparency and Fiscal Secrecy

Posted by Tim Irwin

Working paper logo
What encourages governments to publish information about their finances? A new IMF working paper, “Revealing the Mysteries of State: The Origins of Fiscal Transparency in Western Europe” aims to shed light on this question by examining the history of European fiscal transparency. It was inspired by the Fund’s work on promoting fiscal transparency (see this policy paper and the new draft Fiscal Transparency Code).

The working paper looks back as far as Athens in the fifth-century BC and notes a few of the developments of the last two decades, but it concentrates on the fiscal secrecy of the age of absolutism, in which governments used spies to uncover the accounts of other states, and on the efforts of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century reformers to get the accounts published.

One factor encouraging transparency identified by the paper is the strength of governments’ need to raise money from skeptical lenders and taxpayers. Its influence can be seen at work on many occasions, including medieval Spain and seventeenth-century England, but it was particularly evident during the French Revolution.

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October 10, 2013

Annual Meetings Kicks Off with Talks on Fiscal Transparency

Posted by Rachel F. Wang

Many of the key players committed to promoting greater fiscal transparency met on Tuesday for one of the first events of the 2013 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings.

The Joint IMF-World Bank Seminar entitled “Strengthening Fiscal Transparency and Government Accounting” brought together representatives from international organizations, national governments, think tanks, professional organizations, and civil society to discuss how to promote greater fiscal openness and improve the information base for fiscal decision-making.

The event was kicked off with a welcome address from Bertrand Badré, Managing Director and World Bank Group Chief Financial Officer, and included two panel discussions on

  • Strengthening fiscal transparency standards and practices chaired by Richard Hughes, Division Chief in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department), and
  • Improving government accounting chaired by Chuck McDonough, Vice President and Controller at the World Bank). 

Panelists included Moritz Kramer from Standard & Poor’s, Phil Sinnett from the PEFA Secretariat, Vivek Ramkumar from the International Budget Partnership, Jo Marie Griesgraber from New Rules for Global Finance Coalition, Devantri Kaur Santa Sigh from the Malaysian Ministry of Finance, Gerhard Steger from the Austrian Ministry of Finance, Fayez Choudhury from IFAC, and Ron Salole from IPSAS board.

Discussions ranged over a variety of areas, including the revision of the IMF’s fiscal transparency code and new fiscal transparency assessment; how fiscal transparency feeds into credit ratings and vice versa; the harmonization of different transparency-related norms and standards; the role that civil society has played in promoting greater fiscal openness by governments; and the opportunities and challenges in moving from cash to accrual accounting.

The keynote address, given by Gerd Schwartz, Deputy Director of the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department set the tone for the morning’s discussion.  The text of his speech is provided below:

I would like to use this opportunity to talk about the importance of fiscal transparency for fiscal sustainability and discuss the work underway to improve both standards and practices.  More specifically, there are four issues I would like to cover:

  • First, I would like to highlight the progress made in promoting greater fiscal transparency over the past decade, thanks to collective efforts of many of the organizations represented in this room.
  • Second, I would like to discuss some of the lessons of the economic crisis regarding the adequacy of existing fiscal transparency standards and practices.
  • Third,  I would like to provide you with an update of the IMF’s ongoing work on strengthening its evaluation tools in the fiscal transparency area; and
  • Finally, I would like to review the broader agenda on fiscal transparency and government financial disclosure.

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July 01, 2013

IMF Strengthens Fiscal Transparency Code

Previously published on IMF Survey online

Following an initial consultation early in 2013, the IMF has released a draft of its revised Fiscal Transparency Code for further public consultation. The revised Code will be the basis for a renewed push for greater fiscal transparency.

Information on public finances is sometimes reported by governments in ways that do not provide a full and reliable picture of their financial position, outlook, and risks. Greater fiscal transparency helps to ensure governments make informed economic decisions and allows legislatures and citizens to hold governments accountable for their use of public resources.

The revised Code aims to strengthen fiscal reporting standards to reflect the lessons of the recent economic crisis, identify and eliminate gaps in published fiscal information, and promote greater fiscal transparency in countries at all income levels. The changes are designed to ensure that policymakers, legislators, citizens, and markets have a more complete picture of the state of public finances.

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April 23, 2013

Revitalizing the Fiscal Transparency Agenda

Posted by Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director, IMF

The first public event of this year’s IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings was a seminar organized by the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department on the morning of Monday April 15th which brought together experts from governments, academia, civil society, and international organizations to discuss how to work together to revitalize the fiscal transparency agenda in the wake of the recent crisis.

The timing of last Monday’s Fiscal Transparency Seminar at the start of a week of seminars, panels, roundtables, and other events underscores the importance that the IMF attaches to the issue of fiscal transparency. The number of people who turned up to listen to and participate in the discussion highlighted the breadth and depth of public interest in this topic. The need to improve government financial disclosure was a recurring theme in many of the discussions which I attended during the past very busy week. 

For those of you who could not join us at last week’s seminar, I would like to use this article to share with you the IMF’s latest thinking on fiscal transparency and present our work program in this critical area. In particular, I want to focus on three issues:

  • first, I want to highlight the progress that has been made in promoting greater fiscal transparency over the past decade, thanks to the collective efforts of governments, civil society, academics, think tanks, international organizations, and others;
  • second, I want to review some of the lessons that the recent crisis has taught us about the adequacy of existing fiscal transparency standards and practices; and
  • finally, I’d like to outline the key elements of a revitalized fiscal transparency agenda, and how the Fund plans to support that agenda.

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March 05, 2013

Can Arab Countries Improve Fiscal Transparency?

Posted by Manal Fouad

When people took to the streets in several Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries in early 2011, it was not only about social justice, but also to demand accountability from their governments. This means more information about how public resources are allocated, spent, and audited. Unfortunately, according to a recent publication by the International Budget Partnership, the MENA region records by far the lowest scores on transparency in the Open Budget Index, and most countries are still classified among those with scantest information about their budgets (only Jordan had a relatively good score of 57 in 2012, while Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Yemen are all in the bottom range of 0-20). Even more troublesome, Egypt has seen a significant worsening in its rating from 49 in 2010 to only 13 in 2012.

Yet, many of the demands from the youth who led the Arab revolutions were for increased fiscal transparency. These demands range from disclosure of very simple figures to more complicated issues. Such disclosures would answer many questions that are vibrantly present in the public debate. How much does the debt contracted by previous regimes cost in the budget? Are these levels of debt more or less than the government’s spending on health and education? Are the high levels of public subsidy provided on commodities such as food and fuel appropriate? Do these subsidies reach their intended beneficiaries? How much is the military apparatus spending on its wages, pensions and equipment? How much do loss-making public enterprises cost the budget? Is the government paying its salaries and bills to public and private suppliers on time? And more fundamentally: what is the government’s medium-term vision and objectives for the country? Does the budget reflect the country’s and society’s priorities? Is the budget constructed on the basis of realistic assumptions on the availability of resources and costs of programs, and does it include contingencies for unexpected economic conditions or uncertain events? Is public debt sustainable?

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January 18, 2013

Chinese Social Media Support Fiscal Transparency

Posted by Qi Zhang and James L Chan[i]

In the past four years, the Chinese government has made unprecedented efforts to implement public access to government financial information. This new policy of fiscal transparency is part of a larger project of public disclosure of government information. The policy basically revoked the long-standing state secret status of government financial information contained in annual government budgets and year-end financial reports.

Under the direction of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and with the encouragement of the National People’s Congress (NPC, the Chinese parliament), the State Council (the cabinet) took a major step in 2007 to lift the veil of secrecy over a wide range of government information. The release of financial information is the center-piece of this new policy initiative. Under the leadership of outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao, the pace of implementation has accelerated in the past two to three years through a series of administrative directives. It is noteworthy that in addition to releasing official government finance statistics, the spotlight is on the so-called san gong jingfei (literally ‘three public expenditures’), expenditures for official cars, receptions and travel.

These hotbeds of waste and abuse, as well as outright fraud, have been the targets for public outcries against official corruption. They are also the usual subjects of investigations by the National Audit Office, whose reports over the past dozen years have kicked up annual ‘audit storms’. Since virtually all of this information is usually communicated in the Chinese language only, these ‘dirty linens’ are effectively shielded from the outside world. Similarly, the new fiscal transparency policy has also drawn little international attention.

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January 17, 2013

How Can the Pace of Budget Transparency Be Increased? Examining the Results of the Open Budget Survey 2012

Posted by Vivek Ramkumar

IBP WB medium

The International Budget Partnership (IBP) and the World Bank Institute (WBI) are pleased to invite you to join practitioners in the fields of development and fiscal management in a discussion on how to increase budget transparency and participation around the world. The discussion will include a presentation of the results of the IBP’s latest round of the Open Budget Survey and then focus on indentifying innovative and practical suggestions for rapidly improving country performance on the Survey.

Date: 5 February 2013
Time: 9.30-11 am (Breakfast will be served from 9 am)
Venue: IFC Auditorium, 2121 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C.

There is growing interest in the role of open budgeting systems in development. An increasing body of evidence shows that the best way to manage public funds efficiently and equitably is through budget systems that are transparent, inclusive, and monitored through independent oversight institutions. Recent research studies also show that transparency can help to attract easier and cheaper international credit and thereby increase public revenues. On the other hand, lack of fiscal transparency can undermine fiscal discipline,increase borrowing costs, and promote opportunities for corruption and other leakages.

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December 27, 2012

ICGFM 2012 Winter Conference

Posted by Sailendra Pattanayak

The International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management (ICGFM) held its Winter Conference on Good Public Financial Management Practices in a Period of Global Adjustment in Washington, DC during December 10–12, 2012. This was co-hosted by the Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) of the IMF. The Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) also partnered with the ICGFM for this conference.

The conference was attended by high-level officials from ministries of finance, state audit institutions and other government ministries/agencies, and members of parliament of more than 25 countries, as well as representatives from international organizations, rating agencies, think tanks, the donor community, civil society groups, and academia. The welcome address was delivered by Ms. Linda Fealing, President, ICGFM, followed by opening remarks from Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, FAD Deputy Director. (Download ICGFM conference agenda Dec 2012.)

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November 28, 2012

Two Richards Talk Fiscal Transparency

Posted by Rachel F. Wang

On November 1, 2012, the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) published a policy paper entitled, “
Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Risk”. The paper reviews the progress made in improving fiscal reporting since the late 1990s; considers what the global financial crisis has taught us about the adequacy of prevailing fiscal transparency standards, practices, and monitoring; and makes a series of recommendations for revitalizing the global fiscal transparency effort in the wake of the crisis. Richard Allen, a seasoned advisor on public financial management issues and former deputy division chief in FAD, sat down with Richard Hughes, the new head of FAD’s Public Financial Management Division I and co-author of the paper, to talk about its key insights and implications.

Richard Allen (RA): Can you tell me why it was decided to prepare a new IMF policy paper on fiscal transparency?

Richard Hughes (RH): There were really two motivations.

The first motivation was that the IMF has been in the fiscal transparency business for about 15 years. We started work in earnest in the wake of the Asian Financial Crisis with the development of the Fiscal Transparency Code (Code of Good Practices on Fiscal Transparency) and Manual (Manual on Fiscal Transparency) and the Fiscal ROSC (Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes). So, 15 years on, we wanted to take stock of how much progress we have made in promoting greater fiscal transparency, review how these fiscal transparency instruments were performing, and look at how much work was left to be done.

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November 01, 2012

Seeing Our Way Through The Crisis: Why We Need Fiscal Transparency

Posted by Carlo Cottarelli and previously published on iMFdirect

Without good fiscal information, governments can’t understand the fiscal risks they face or make good budget decisions. And unless that information is made public, citizens and their legislatures can’t hold governments accountable for those decisions.

Fiscal transparency—the public availability of timely, reliable, and relevant data on the past, present, and future state of the public finances—is thus to the foundation of effective fiscal management.

A new paper from the IMF on fiscal transparency, accountability, and risk considers the progress we have made in opening up the “black box” of fiscal policymaking over the past decade, the lessons of the recent crisis for current fiscal reporting standards and practices, and the steps we need to take to revitalize the global fiscal transparency effort.

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April 16, 2012

Is Fiscal Transparency at Risk? Ten Questions for FAD’s Tim Irwin

Posted by Marco Cangiano

Tim Irwin is headquarter-based consultant in the Public Financial Management 1 Division of the Fiscal Affairs Department, headed by Marco Cangiano. He’s recently published a Staff Discussion Note on accounting devices and fiscal illusions and has several papers on fiscal transparency under development, including one on the history of the subject. Tim has worked on issues such as fiscal reporting, fiscal risks, and the governance of state-owned enterprises and public-private partnerships, in Iceland, Jordan, Mexico, and Portugal. Before joining the Fund, he worked at the World Bank, the New Zealand Treasury, and an economic consultancy.

Is fiscal transparency at risk now that fiscal consolidation and monetary stimulus are the primary policy tools being used to resuscitate European economies? Are countries less interested in fiscal transparency in the aftermath of the financial crisis, i.e. more motivated to hide the real goings on in the kitchen of government?

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March 14, 2012

How Much Butter Are Those Guns Costing?

Posted by Benoit Taiclet and Greg Horman

We have read—and appreciated—a recent publication under the program, “The Transparency of National Defense Budgets,” by Mariya Gorbanova and Leah Wawro, on budget transparency around defense expenditures.

Defense and security establishments have traditionally been among the organizations least open to public or intra-governmental scrutiny. The secrecy that veils some defense activities often extends far beyond what is justified on security grounds, making the sector particularly vulnerable to corruption, anti-competitive behavior, and other illegal practices. Facilitated by excessively secretive budgets, corruption reduces the operational effectiveness of the armed forces and security services and reduces public trust in them. Corruption in defense and security establishments also wastes scarce resources that could be spent on other public services. International companies are less inclined to invest in countries where government or private-sector corruption is significant, impeding economic development. Thus, corruption not only harms defense institutions themselves, but also hinders a country’s economic and social development, undermines the integrity of the government, and reduces public trust in the authorities.

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February 22, 2012

Accrual Accounting Essential for Government Transparency and Accountability!

Posted by Ian Ball [1]

In this post Ian Ball, CEO, International Federation of Accountants, argues that it is time for governments to take their accounting responsibilities seriously and to modernise their financial management practices. The eurozone debt crisis has highlighted widespread financial reporting failures and must lead to extensive reform, including adoption of accrual accounting and budgeting practices. Politicians and Ministries of Finance must be pressured to implement these reforms before the next crisis hits.  

The sovereign debt crisis has emphasised the seriousness of the results of poor financial management and financial reporting. Obviously, government actions to limit the impact of the global crisis have exacerbated their financial positions, as many governments acquired significant assets and liabilities, gave guarantees of various kinds, and engaged in massive fiscal stimulus programmes. But the situation now would not be as dire if so many governments had not already made commitments that they did not account for properly, and may not be able to meet.

Governments in general are clearly accounting very poorly for their financial performance and position. This could, and should, lead to significant reform. We saw how financial reporting failure in the private sector a decade or so earlier led to dramatic action, including the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002 in the United States, and the creation of regulatory bodies for private sector audits in most major countries.

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October 12, 2011

Transparency and Participation in Public Financial Management: What Do Budget Laws Say?

Posted by Paolo de Renzio, International Budget Partnership, and Verena Kroth, London School of Economics

An increasing number of governments, as well as international and civil society organizations, are promoting the public disclosure of budgetary information, and calling for greater citizen involvement in budget processes. Most agree that fiscal transparency generates significant benefits, as it is an important precondition for better governance, improved economic performance and prudent fiscal policy, resulting in lower deficits and debt accumulation. Moreover, transparency functions as a political expression of democratic governance, giving citizens and taxpayers information that they are entitled to, and that they can use to hold their governments accountable.

Given its increasing importance, how can transparency and participation in public financial management be promoted or improved? As a possible avenue, it is interesting to look at the role of legislation in promoting both disclosure of budgetary information and opportunities for citizen engagement in the budget process. Key questions then are: (a) to what extent does budget legislation in different countries cover issues related to budget transparency and participation, and in what level of detail? and (b) does the degree to which legislation covers issues related to public disclosure of budget information seem to affect the actual level of budget transparency in different countries?

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August 01, 2011

Rwanda: A Decade of Difficult but Sustained Public Financial Management Reforms

Posted by Lewis Kabayiza Murara

Only a decade ago Rwanda did not possess a properly articulated public financial management system, and there were few qualified staff to run the system, especially public accountants. Since then the government has put in place many of the elements required for a sound system of public financial management. Some weaknesses remain, in particular in relation to local accounting capacity, but the government of Rwanda appears firmly committed to establishing a modern, efficient, transparent and accountable PFM system. In 2006, the government put in place a Public Financial Management Action Plan aimed at strengthening several aspects of the existing public financial management system. In particular, the government sought to strengthen accounting capacity, improve the audit function, and put in place more robust financial controls and reporting procedures, new rules on fiscal and financial decentralization, and procurement reforms. Subsequently, and following the first-ever PEFA assessment on Rwanda in 2007, a comprehensive and ambitious five-year Public Financial Management strategy was prepared in 2008 and is now being implemented, with some degree of success as evidenced by a repeat PEFA assessment concluded in December 2010.

This blog post attempts to summarize salient features of Rwanda’s public financial management landscape, including a short paragraph on public procurement (which tends to be forgotten by IMF and other PFM specialists as a key area in public financial management and tends to be treated separately).

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May 09, 2011

Transparency Versus Effectiveness in Public Financial Management

Posted by Sailendra Pattanayak

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of initiatives to promote transparency in fiscal policy decision making and implementation. Openness and clarity about the government’s policy intentions, policy formulation and implementation have been recognized as key elements of good governance. Comprehensive disclosure in a timely and systematic manner of all relevant information on management of public resources—their collection and use through a country’s public financial management (PFM) system to pursue policy goals—are seen as key to ensuring accountability.

Alongside transparency, the effectiveness of PFM systems and processes, including budget management methodologies and tools, is also important to manage public finances in a cost-effective manner. Budget reforms such as MTEF, program/performance budgeting, activity-based budgeting, cost accounting, etc. are primarily motivated to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of allocating and managing public resources.

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April 04, 2011

Global Aid Transparency Movement: A Call for Action?

Posted by Florence Kuteesa, former budget director of Uganda

A global aid transparency movement, bringing together several initiatives with a shared vision[1], has received increasing interest and attention since the 2005 Paris Declaration for Aid Effectiveness. The main thrust of the movement is to make information about aid spending easier to access and understand by promoting public disclosure of regular, detailed, and timely reports on volume, allocations, and, where available, results of aid spending.

The movement is premised on the understanding that joint commitment from both donors and recipient governments is required to enforce global aid transparency. The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) advocates for one gateway to access information from different sources by setting up an online registry that records the location of information. Publish What You Fundconducted an assessment of donor transparency levels whose findings were published in the 2010 Aid Transparency Assessment Report and discussed below. A joint initiative[2] is underway to formulate common standards to determine what information participating donors will publish and formats in which it will be presented.

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September 29, 2010

Fiscal Transparency in Cameroon: a Top Concern for the Government

Posted by Manal Fouad and Edouard Martin (IMF's Fiscal Affairs Department)

Cameroon's dialogue with the Fund on fiscal transparency issues goes far back. Hence, Cameroon was one of the two pilot countries to experiment with the fiscal module of Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC), when the Fund launched the initiative in 1999.

Eleven years later, a ROSC reassessment shows that Cameroon has made important strides to comply with the principles of the IMF Code of Good Practices on Fiscal Transparency. Such progress is the result of an active government engagement towards improving public financial management and transparency, which is now set as one of the objectives of the budgetary process. Consistent with this engagement, numerous reforms have been implemented to improve transparency, some with the help of development partners and with technical assistance from the IMF. For instance, Cameroon joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in March 2005, creating in the process a platform for dialogue on public finance involving representatives of government, donors and lenders, and civil society. Also, a new budget system law, encompassing modern PFM techniques and generally in line with international good practices was promulgated in 2007; its provisions are expected to be fully in place by 2012. During its discussions in Yaoundé, the authors of the report met with the community of NGOs, journalists, and other stakeholders, who were outspoken and keenly interested in transparency issues and in working toward high standards for their country.

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September 13, 2010

With 17 “gold medals” Brazil beats Norway on the PEFA assessment!

Posted by Mario Pessoa

Gold medals are the objective reference for success in the world of sports. In PFM, you may measure success by the number of “A”s scored on the PEFA assessment. A recent World Bank PEFA report gives Brazil the lead with 17 A's! Even better than solid, dependable Norway! Is the PEFA representation accurate? Is Brazil world leader on PFM, or is reality a bit more complex?

Brazil has been reforming its public financial management systems since the 1980s. The implementation of the fiscal responsibility law (FRL) in 2000 can be considered the major landmark that put the country in the forefront of PFM good practices. The FRL improved substantially the coverage of the budget and fiscal reports, imposed macrofiscal safeguards on debt management and public expenditure, provided for the preparation of a fiscal risk analysis to support the budget process, and pushed for timely and reliable fiscal reports. The impact of the FRL is clearly perceptible in three of the six pillars of the PEFA assessment (credibility of the budget; comprehensiveness and transparency; and accounting; recording; and reporting). From 14 indicators in theses three dimensions Brazil scored “A” in 11.

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August 04, 2010

Sustainability Reporting: Can the Triple Bottom Line Thrive in the Public Sector?

Posted by Dimitar Vlahov

It’s common knowledge that today’s global economy is facing multiple challenges and imbalances. From the recent financial crisis, to concerns about distribution of wealth, to the ever-more-dangerous clashes between economy and environment, there are many reasons to pause and examine the whole system. Some experts have suggested that a large chunk of this ill condition can be attributed to the same cause – the problem of bad performance measurement. Businesses and governments alike, the argument goes, have been employing short-sighted measures of success that do not account for all medium- and long-term consequences of their organizations’ activities. Therefore, they need to expand their reporting to include social and environmental indicators of performance, and not just financial ones. With a better warning system, many of the present-day issues could be mitigated or avoided altogether. This post serves as a basic introduction to this approach and its main applications to date.

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July 21, 2010

Social Control and Transparency in Brazil

Posted by Helio Tollini 

The requirements of the Fiscal Responsibility Law (LRF), of May 2000, helped improve transparency of the public accounts at all levels of governments in Brazil. The advances in this area were testified by the International Budget Partnership (IBP), whose 2008 Open Budget Initiative ranked Brazil 8th in terms of the budget process transparency,[1] and by the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) Initiative, whose report on Brazil, currently under finalization, places the country first among approximately 90 finalized assessments.

The LRF had never been changed until the recent approval of Complementary Law nº 131, of May 2009. The new law requires all federative units (which includes the municipalities) to make available “detailed information” on the Internet, in real time, of their budget and financial execution. According to the law, since May 28, 2010, the federal government, the states and the municipalities with more than 100,000 inhabitants are obliged to provide the required information on their own websites. The deadline is extended by one more year for municipalities whose number of inhabitants ranges from 50,000 to 100,000, while the municipalities with less than 50,000 inhabitants have three extra years to adjust, until May 2013. The law foresees sanctions for non-compliance, like the withholding of voluntary transfers from the federal government, which are very important for smaller states and municipalities.

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July 05, 2010

Full Disclosure of Government Debt, and How it Can Go Wrong

Posted by Yang-Hyun Jin 

The more the issue of fiscal adjustment comes to the attention of the public, the more important is the full disclosure of the government or public debt. Just in follow up to the previous post, government or public debt should not be confused with public sector debt which includes the debt of publicly-owned corporations. Government or public debt to GDP ratios are often used as targets of government fiscal policy or even part of fiscal rules that are  enshrined in law, Constitution or International Treaty. The Maastricht Treaty of course famously limits in principle government debt to GDP of eurozone members to a maximum of 60 percent. 

To have sufficient information on the exact amount of government or public debt is not only a starting point for fiscal adjustment but also a criterion for measuring the success of consolidation efforts. In some countries, the authorities adhere to the accepted standards of disclosure as fully as possible. In other countries, however, the authorities’ attitude toward full disclosure of public debt information is more evasive. This is especially the case when full disclosure has political or market consequences.

This blog argues that it is important to respect the criteria and definitions of government/public debt, and not evade full disclosure, but that evasion can and does take place. It examines the definition of public debt and how that information should be reported.

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June 28, 2010

Interactive Financial Data and XBRL: the Way Forward?

Posted by Dimitar Vlahov 

Today’s means of exchanging financial data have entered a process of global synchronization and standardization. Intuitively, this makes sense given the interconnected and interdependent nature of economic and business entities around the world, coupled with advances in computing power. In practice, the trend is evidenced by the rapid spread of XBRL, a novel set of programming rules for recording and reporting financial data electronically. Over the last several years this new freely-available open standard has been employed by more than 550 major companies, organizations and governments, including many central banks, finance ministries, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Tokyo Stock Exchange. A Forbes report estimates that XBRL encoding is used by companies representing more than 75% of the world's market capitalization. So popular has XBRL become that one can now even buy “XBRL for Dummies” on Amazon. This note provides a quick account of what XBRL is and why it is relevant for public financial management.

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