January 16, 2011Doug Hadden
Steven Symansky, formerly with the International Monetary Fund, will be the keynote speaker at the FreeBalance International Steering Committee (FISC) conference. Dr. Symansky will be speaking about Public Financial Management (PFM) Reform and Donor Funding in Post-Conflict Countries. He has practical experience in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, Liberia and Timor-Leste.
Dr. Symansky emphasized that budget execution through a computerized system is the most essential reform in post-conflict countries. This provides an accountability trail. He is a strong believer in direct budget control.
Dr. Symansky gave the example how the Treasury Department in Afghanistan, a FreeBalance customer, was able to build capacity and take ownership over the Government Resource Planning (GRP) system. This result is considered to be a success story.
About Steven Symansky
Steven Symansky retired from the IMF in 2009 as an Advisor in the Fiscal Affairs Department. While in the IMF, he served as the Division Chief of the Fiscal Surveillance and Policy Division, and the mission chief for Afghanistan for 3 years during which he negotiated the Staff Monitored Program and the program related to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility. Also, Mr. Symansky was in the Research Department at the IMF for about 8 years. Before that, he spent two years in the Research Department at the World Bank and eight years in the International Division at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve after he earned his PHD in economics from Wisconsin. He led a number of fiscal technical assistance missions to post-conflict countries (i.e. Kosovo, East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq and Liberia). He also led several public expenditure and macro-fiscal technical assistance missions to a variety of countries.
In addition to his technical assistance and IMF country work, he developed the IMF’s first world macro-econometric model and published numerous papers related to this work. He co-authored a paper with George Kopits on Fiscal Rules and was a co-author of two recent IMF staff position papers — one on fiscal policy during the crisis and one on multipliers. He has also published papers on debt buy-backs, real exchange rates, tax harmonization, and the macroeconomics of drugs. Most recently he has been drafting fiscal responsibility legislation for two countries in the Caribbean.
The annual FreeBalance International Steering Committee (FISC) conference runs from January 16 – 19, 2011 in Madeira, Portugal. FISC provides an interactive forum to exchange Public Financial Management (PFM) good practices among international customers and PFM thought leaders. FISC drives the FreeBalance Accountability Suite product vision to direct FreeBalance GRP solutions. Previous FISC events were held in Mt. Tremblant, Canada (2010); Prague, Czech Republic (2009); Cascais, Portugal (2008); and London, United Kingdom (2007).
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