June 3, 2012Spencer Callaghan
What’s new at FreeBalance?
This weekly news update provides the Government Resource Planning (GRP) community with a brief overview of recent FreeBalance developments and relevant industry news.
Improve Citizen and Investor Confidence in Government
The FreeBalance Results Portal enables government organizations to describe goals and set output and outcome targets. Goals are aligned to government performance objectives presented on the web. Government results and evidence for these results are presented transparently. The FreeBalance Results Portal provides business investors with confidence about country governance structures. Most importantly, the portal enables civil society to understand the implication of government programs beyond government expenditures.
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Beware the ERP License Police
There’s more disturbing news from ERP vendors: charging customers for “indirect usage”. Dale Blake, the CEO of UpperEdge suggests that one particular ERP vendor is taking advantage of customers by “predatorily squeezing fees from their customers, and worse, seizing the opportunity to reduce flexibility and promote an anticompetitive environment.” This particular ERP vendor is charging customers for interfacing or using data in 3rd party systems. A spokesman from the ERP vendor suggests that Mr. Blake is misinformed. Of course, this comes from the vendor who tried to unilaterally increase maintenance fees in 2010.
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Program Budgeting Is on the Reform Agenda Across Europe and Central Asia
Ministries of Finance from 18 Europe and Central Asia (ECA) countries met from March 27-29, 2012 at Lake Bohinj, in Slovenia,  to exchange experiences in program budgeting. The meeting was attended by 57 members of the Budget Community of Practice (BCOP) of the Public Expenditure Management Peer Assisted Learning (PEMPAL) network. Presentations were delivered by the World Bank, IMF, and GIZ with reforms showcased from guest speakers from France, Australia, Slovenia, and Poland.
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Beyond the Austerity Debate: the Deficit Bias in the post-Bretton Woods Era
The austerity vs. growth debate has raged in recent months, pitting those who argue that fiscal policy should be tightened more aggressively now to bring down high levels of debt, even though economic growth remains weak, against those who want to postpone the adjustment to better times. This is a critical issue for policymakers, perhaps the most important one in the short run. And yet, this debate—which, mea culpa, I have myself contributed to is attracting too much attention.
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