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FreeBalance Weekly Update – Tuesday, July 31, 2012


July 31, 2012

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.

Lessons Learned in Post-Conflict Public Financial Management

The FreeBalance Accountability Suite has had a remarkable run of success in post-conflict countries. That shouldn’t confuse people in thinking that’s all FreeBalance does. After all, Canada, the United States, Guyana, Antigua, Panama, Mongolia and other countries that have implemented our software are not post-conflict. FreeBalance Government Resource Planning (GRP) is successfully implemented in post-conflict countries because the software adapts rapidly to reform. This is a key takeaway for more developed countries – public financial reform and modernization needs adaptable government-specific software.
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ERP in Government, Yet More Bad News

The Inspector General for the United States Department of Defense published “Enterprise Resource Planning Systems, Schedule Delays and Reengineering Weaknesses Increase Risk to DoD’s Auditability Goals” on July 13th. This comes on the heels of the Government Accountability Office “DOD Financial Management: Reported Status of Department of Defense’s Enterprise Resource Planning Systems” from March 30th. (And, the UK National Audit Office report and the Panorama survey that found ERP software project overruns ‘distressingly common‘.) The Inspector General report provides more financial details to five of the projects listed by the GAO and adds information for an additional two projects. Six projects were addressed by the GAO but not the Inspector General.

Signs of Fiscal Progress: Will It Be Enough?

We’ve just updated our latest assessment of the state of government finances, debts, and deficits in advanced and emerging economies. Fiscal adjustment is continuing in the advanced economies at a speed that is broadly appropriate, and roughly what we projected three months ago. In emerging economies there’s a pause in fiscal adjustment this year and next, but this too is generally appropriate, given that many of these countries have low debt and deficits. The improvement in fiscal conditions in many advanced economies is welcome, but it’s going to take more than lower deficits to get countries under market pressure out of the crosshairs.
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A New Dataset on Numerical Fiscal Rules

Strengthening fiscal frameworks, in particular fiscal rules, has emerged as a key response to the fiscal legacy of the global economic crisis. Fiscal rules are defined as long-lasting constraints on key budgetary aggregates through numerical limits on deficits, debt, expenditures, or revenue. A new IMF working paper takes stock of fiscal rules in use around the world, compiles a dataset—covering national and supranational fiscal rules, in 81 countries from 1985 to end-March 2012—and presents details about the rules’ key design elements.
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