September 2, 2010Doug Hadden
Doug Hadden, VP Products
Sharing Good Practices in Public Financial Management Reform
Delegates from the Government of Liberia Ministry of Finance recently visited Sierra Leone for a study tour to learn good practices in “macro-economic and fiscal projections and analysis; revenue tax policy, forecasting and analysis.” Study tours are particularly effective because the sequence of PFM reform differs based on country context. Study tours provide the depth needed for governments to understand what works under different circumstances.
Of course, the governments of Sierra Leone and Liberia share many characteristics that made this study tour effective. Both are post-conflict countries with similar macroeconomic situations. Sierra Leone has successful implemented the FreeBalance Accountability Suite
. Liberia has acquired the same software and the project is in development.
The Government of Sierra Leone has achieved significant progress in RFP reform and governance despite trying circumstances. We’re in process of completing a Case Study of PFM Reform for Sierra Leone, similar in scope to the recent study of Kosovo. We hope that our Case Study series will help the knowledge transfer of what works.
“The Government of the Republic of Liberia is committed to advancing key governance reform initiatives in support of its reconstruction efforts,” said the Honorable Tarnue Mawolo, Deputy Minister Administration. “The FreeBalance Accountability Suite will serve as a tool to support reform initiatives and will provide the foundation for economic growth and transparency. By building a more transparent government, public trust in the Government of Liberia will only increase.”
Among the good practices leveraged by the Government of Sierra Leone, according to the 2007 Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability(PEFA) assessment, is an excellent budget classification and good reporting. We’ve heard since 2007, at our FreeBalance International Steering Committee meetings that Sierra Leone has achieved:
- Improved purchasing and procurement control
- Decentralization of PFM processes
- Reduction in financial management processing time
- Clearance of all backlog of annual financial statements and timely preparation of annual Accounts
- Legal reform for PFM and sequencing of reform and transparency
- Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Program (IPFMRP)
- Improved governance through the proper segregation of duties and availability of audit trails
The first phase of the Sierra Leone FreeBalance Accountability Suite implementation went into production in June of 2005 – 7 months from project inception. The Government of Sierra Leone current uses the following Government Resource Planning (GRP) modules and is very active in our software enhancement initiatives:
- FreeBalance Financials
- FreeBalance Revenue
- FreeBalance Purchasing
- FreeBalance Assets
- FreeBalance Human Capital
- FreeBalance Performance Budgeting
Liberia and Sierra Leone are continuing to improve governance mechanisms despite technical infrastructure and capacity challenges. This is why the Sierra Leone experience in capacity building is critical for Liberia.