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News Balance: This Week’s PFM News #7


Welcome to News Balance, our weekly blog recapping the changing face of public financial management (PFM) and more.

From government contracts, tax reforms, updated procurement policy, cloud computing, ERP fails, to tech takeovers, FreeBalance is your one stop shop for staying up to date on technology and PFM reform around the world.

We’ll also touch on stories that relate to topics such as big data, Smart Cities, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, sustainability, cloud computing and information 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

Government of Uganda eliminates 5,000+ ‘ghost workers’

The Government of Uganda recently eliminated more than 5,500 “ghost workers” from the wage bill. “Ghost” or “phantom” workers can be a significant drain on government finances. The wage bill averages about 24% of total expenditures and 6.52% of annual GDP in 154 countries according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). (…read more)

Driverless taxi hit the streets of Singspore

Looking to hail a taxi while in Singapore? Well if you’re one of the lucky ones that got to download the new smartphone app from nuTonomy, you could be hailing a driverless taxi. The nuTonomy “robo-taxi” is planning a full-launch of the server in 2018. “This is really a moment in history that’s going to change how cities are built, how we really look at our surroundings,” nuTonomy executive Doug Parker told Reuters. (…read more)

Kingsoft eyes piece of cloud computing biz

With cloud computing expected to take off in China, it looks like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. won’t be the only company vying for your cloud-based business. Chinese software company Kingsoft Corp. Ltd., is banking on new businesses from mobile gaming to cloud computing. (…read more)

Cytecare hospitals using big data to fight cancer?

Can big data help fight against cancer? According to Cytecare, a new specialty hospital in Bengaluru, India, big data and analytics will be used to improve detection in patients while also ensuring the treatment it offers is affordable. (…read more)

Millennials not letting corruption keep them down

Millennials are an inclusive and optimistic bunch, according to the a recent survey by the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers community. Even though corruption and economic concerns are top of mind with young people, 70% still see a world full of opportunities. (…read more)

Colombia’s cabinet publishes tax returns

Who’s getting paid what? Colombians are getting their first look at the wealth of senior officials after President Juan Manuel Santos published his entire cabinet’s tax returns as part of an anti-corruption push. This comes as pressure mounts across Latin America for more accountability following corruption scandals in Mexico and Brazil. (…read more)

Leaders develop plan to enhance transparency

Enhancing government transparency and accountability were topics of much discussion at a recent UN-backed event in the Yakawlang district of central Bamyan province. During the event a number of challenges facing civil society were discussed and practical actions for improvement were presented. “Successful governance at the grassroots level requires involvement of all segments of society, ” said Abdul Hamid Mubarez, District Governor of Yakawlang. (…read more)

ADB aids electricity in Pakistan

To improve the quality and reliability of energy, and meet the increasing demand for electricity, the Asian Development Bank has approved a $810 million loan to develop the Pakistan’s power transmission system. The finances will be delivered in a series of tranches until 2026. (…read more)

Procurement system aims to improve development, transparency

To help countries make the most of public spending, strengthen national procurement policies, and improve development objects, the World Bank has recently unveiled a new Procurement Framework. The Procurement Framework will allow the World Bank to better respond to the needs of its client countries, while preserving robust procurement standards throughout Bank-supported projects. (…read more)

Utilizing disruptive change within the public sector

With top-down hierarchies, cultural legacies and the lack of a compelling vision, organizational change within the public sector doesn’t come easy. However, if you ask the folks at Gartner Inc., utilizing digital transformation can be the catalyst for bringing about revolutionary change in citizen services. According to Gartner, this starts with public sector leaders, including CIOs creating a culture less averse to change. (…read more)

Jamaica’s economy growing steadily

Unemployment may still be high, but the Jamaican economy has seen steady growth, according to the IMF. During a recent mission to the Caribbean nation, the IMF found Jamaican authorities are continuing their “strong” implementation of the IMF’s requirements under the extended fund facility program. The mission’s report will be reviewed by the IMF board in September. On approval, around $40 million will be made available to Jamaica. (…read more)

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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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