June 12, 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.
What Canada can learn from Developing Countries on Public Financial Management sustainability [Part 1]
Sustainability has become a “meme” – a pervasive cross-cutting concept. It’s crept into our vocabulary: a standard bullet point for any government initiative or criticism of the initiative. (I’m waiting for the following question in the House of Commons: “Mr. Speaker, the Right Honourable Prime Minister’s haircut is clearly unsustainable. When will the barber resign?”) The notion of “sustainability” gets lost in the noise in Canada. It’s visceral in Developing Nations.
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Timor-Leste has much to celebrate on its 10th birthday
Asia’s newest nation celebrated its 10th birthday this month: 20 May in Timor-Leste was a celebration of freedom that also deserved to be a celebration of development. After centuries of foreign rule, Timor-Leste has readied itself to be a full partner in what is shaping up as Asia’s century. Nation-building is a complex process, and the world’s media have documented Timor-Leste’s difficulties, from the graphic images of violent uprisings in 1999 and 2006, to the assassination attempts of 2008. These disturbing episodes earned it the moniker of fragile state. What some may have missed, however, is that Timor-Leste has emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia and the Pacific.
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What Accounting Standards for Governments of the Global South?
Timely, clear and open annual financial statements play an essential role in the accountability of governments to parliament and their citizens. However, there are no widely adopted international standards that reflect existing good practice. Virtually all developing countries currently use the modified cash basis. But there is no internationally accepted guidance that details the standards and good practices which should be adopted for this approach. The only available international standard is the Cash Basis International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS). This was first issued in January 2003, but although it has been widely promoted by the donor community, PEFA and IFAC, not a single government in the world has actually been able to adopt this standard.
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National Budgets that Meet the Needs of Development and Poverty Reduction
With its resolutely pragmatic focus on the latest developments in public finance, Les budgets nationaux au service du développement et de la réduction de la pauvreté [National budgets that meet the needs of development and poverty reduction] (published in January 2012) addresses the budgeting of development and poverty-reduction policies in developing Francophone countries. This publication also provides a comprehensive overview of issues relevant to preparing national budgets based on public policies.
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