August 21, 2009Doug Hadden
There is an excellent post on the IMF PFM Blog about capacity building and sustainability in Afghanistan. The post contrasts the approaches within the Ministry of Finance used by the Budget and Treasury groups. It concludes that the approach taken in Treasury of focusing on capacity building has proven successful.
One might think from the press that there are no successes by the Government of Afghanistan. This is a clear success. In 2008, Afghanistan Treasury was able to roll-out the AFMIS software to 14 line ministries and 12 provincial Mutofiats. With limited foreign assistance. Treasury expects to roll-out to all remaining line ministries and provinces this year. They now produce timely financial statements. 85% of all budget execution was accomplished in real-time, as of February this year. Afghanistan Treasury has created trust with donors.
Afghanistan Treasury utilizes FreeBalance software. The Budget Office does not. We make the argument that our software is designed to enable capacity building. But the success for capacity building is solely an Afghanistan Treasury success.
Afghanistan Treasury recognized the capacity problem. They have configured the FreeBalance software to meet capacity. As capacity has improved, more advanced functionality has been progressively activated. They expect to improve controls and budget management as capacity improves.