January 18, 2013Doug Hadden
This weekly news update provides the Government Resource Planning (GRP) community with a brief overview of recent FreeBalance developments and relevant industry news.
PFM in a Changing World – the Harvard Perspective
Several FreeBalance executives had the opportunity to participate in the Public Financial Management in a Changing World program last week at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government. The program was attended by more than 60 Public Financial Management professionals from 33 countries around the world. The program successfully brought together senior government officials involved in PFM reform with domain experts from international financial institutions and the private sector.
7 Things about the 7th FreeBalance International Steering Committee
We’re preparing for the FreeBalance International Steering Committee (FISC) conference later this month in Ottawa close to our head office. After all, who wouldn’t want to be in Ottawa in beautiful January? [The average January minimum temperature is −15.3 °C (4.5 °F)]. It’s our 7th annual conference. Which brings me to the top 7 things that highly agile software companies can learn from our approach to be more customer-centric. For one thing, it’s a steering committee, not a user conference. This might seem like a subtle nuance because we’ve adapted the standard technology user conference to be more effective.
Saving the world through social media? How development is going digital
Social media and mobile technologies offer a wide range of benefits for people working in development: a potentially cheap and efficient way to link citizens with their governments, the chance to monitor real-time progress on projects, and the ability to connect people from remote parts of the world to share experiences and teach best practice. It is no surprise that there’s an endless stream of development projects trying to tap into these technologies. In many cases it’s still too early to tell what difference these efforts will make, but here are five that caught our eye.
Read the full article on the Poverty Matters Blog>>
Consultation shows little consensus on EU-wide IPSAS
A consultation on whether all European Union countries should use International Public Sector Accounting Standards has revealed a significant split of opinion. Just over a third (38%) of respondents considered Ipsas suitable for EU-wide implementation either in full or with ‘minor obstacles’ overcome, 31% said they were partly suitable and 28% thought they were unsuitable. The consultation, launched by the statistical agency Eurostat last February, asked whether the standards were needed to improve fiscal surveillance. Respondents included national statistical offices, government departments, audit offices and accountancy bodies such as CIPFA.
Read more on the Public Finance International blog>>
Simplifying Budget Documents – Time for an International Standard?
Improving the quality of budget documentation lies at the heart of many reforms aimed at enhancing understanding of the content of the budget estimates as well as fostering transparency and accountability. Some budget laws prescribe a minimum set of documents to accompany the budget estimates. These may include, for example, reports on: (i) the medium-term macroeconomic forecast; (ii) fiscal policies and public expenditure trends; (ii) medium-term forecasts of government revenues, expenditures, debt, and the fiscal balance; (iii) medium-term resource ceilings; (iv) government guarantees, contingent liabilities and other fiscal risks; (v) spending on expenditure programs and projects by sector; and (vi) projections of donor aid flows. In countries with a Westminster tradition, the budget speech includes much of this information, but additional documents may be presented to the parliament.
Read more on the IMF’s PFM blog>>
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