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News Balance: This week’s PFM news #2


Welcome to News Balance, our new weekly blog that recaps the changing face of public financial management (PFM).

From government contracts, updated procurement policy, to ERP fails, FreeBalance is your one stop shop for staying up to date on PFM reform around the world.

As a forward-thinking software company, we’ll also touch on stories that relate to topics such as, big data, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, sustainability, cloud computing and information that we believe will be of interest to all levels of government and its citizens.

Questions? Concerns? Story ideas? Feel free to drop me a line at, I’m always looking for new content to enhance the experience at

EU warns Spain, Portugal over spending

Spain and Portugal could be on a path towards fines and even partial suspension of EU regional funds for breaching fiscal rules. The European Commission earlier this week concluded the two countries failed to take “effective action” to reduce their deficits. (…cont.)

IMF OKs $364M in financial support for Ecuador

Following the devastating earthquake in Ecuador last April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a disbursement of SDR 261.63 million (about USD $364 million) for the country under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). This financial support will help the country rebuild infrastructure, housing and agriculture damaged in the earthquake. (…cont.)

Is big data the future of IT in the Philippines?

Looks like big data could be big business in the Philippines. Former Globe Telecom chief information officer Henry Aguda, a pioneer in the Philippines’ information technology industry, recently said 10 million jobs could be created in the big data space in the next five years. (…cont.)

Zimbabwe eyes 7-year private loan to refinance government debt

Help is on the way? That’s what Zimbabwe’s central bank governor John Mangudya is hoping for. Mangudya recently told the Financial Times the African Export-Import Bank was arranging a seven-year, $968 million loan to help the country repay its $1.8 billion in outstanding debts. (…cont.)

Phoenix pay system failing to pay employees

Phoenix is falling. The Canadian government introduced a new payroll system, Phoenix (designed by IBM), in February, but ongoing problems has left many federal workers in dire financial difficulties. From contract workers to students, employees continue to complain of being underpaid, or not paid at all.  For example, one student worker went five months without a paycheque. (...cont.)

World Banks improves governance in Kyrgyz Republic

In a move that should see improved public sector governance and strengthened private sector competitiveness, the World Bank approved a US$24 million operation for the Kyrgyz Republic. The operation – Programmatic Governance and Competitiveness Development Policy Operation (DPO) – comprises a credit of US$13.2 million and a grant of US$10.8 million from the International Development Association. (…cont.)

Too many governments not implementing best practise

Well put. Speaking at the CIPFA conference in Manchester, England earlier this week, Olivis Kirtley, President of the International Federation of Accountants said it is ‘remarkable’ how many governments and public sector bodies were not implementing best practices. Kirtley said many use low quality and incomplete information to develop policy or manage assets, and fail to meet international standards in areas like transparency, governance and internal controls. (…cont.)

Private sector key to regeneration programs

When it comes to rejuvenating decaying urban areas around the world, private sector participation is a must, according to a new report from the World Bank and the Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF). From Santiago, Chile to Seoul, Korea, the report identifies how private investment has a huge hand in the redevelopment of any urban area. (…cont.)

IMF OKs $5B to strengthen PFM reform in Iraq

With lower global oil prices and increasing debt, the IMF approved a three-year Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) in Iraq for SDR 3.831 billion (about USD $5.34 billion). The program also includes measures to protect the poor, strengthen public financial management, enhance financial sector stability, and curb corruption. Iraq will require the support of the international community to implement these policies. (…cont.)

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Michael Sutherland-Shaw

Michael Sutherland-Shaw

Marketing Communications Specialist at FreeBalance
Michael works in the marketing and communications department following a career in journalism. Michael is currently learning Ruby on Rails and loves discovering new music.

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