September 11, 2012Doug Hadden
We just finished the one-day training course in London to a group of public financial management professions from Africa and Asia, held at the Crown Agents office. There was a lot of information squeezed into the course that I gave, as you can below. It had a bit of “drinking from a firehose” effect with so much information.
The primary focus of the training was on lessons-learned in implementing Government Resource Planning (GRP) systems in emerging economies. Participants in the course were from the national and regional levels of government and from donors. There was some interesting discussions about vendor governance, donor assistance and PFM sequencing that is almost universal and mostly vendor-neutral.
You can see the topics covered in the embedded document.
What did I learn from participants?
- General view from the PFM professionals was that the 3 most important PFM reform objectives are improved budget planning, procurement, debt and cash management
- No one could guess how fast the fastest FreeBalance implementation was. Closest guess was 6 months which is slightly more that 6 times the fastest time.
- Proper sequencing of reforms and the underlying technology remains a challenge in developing countries. Many participants expressed the view that donor representatives often have personal preferences.
- Most participant agreed that it is difficult to make most commercial software solutions self-sufficient in governments.
- It was agreed that major enterprise software vendors rarely participate in Public Financial Management events. (And, when they do, show little interest in learning from conference sessions.)
- One customer of one of the ERP vendors is pleased because there is direct manufacturer support. That happens infrequently (except for FreeBalance, of course.) Maybe that vendor is reading this blog and learning something 😉