How does Effective Public Financial Management Improve COVID-19 Pandemic Responses?

What’s the good government pandemic response news?  Effective use of Public Financial Management processes and Government Resource Planning software.
Our mission:  We fundamentally believe that governments are at the nexus of providing improved citizen quality of life, and for solving global wicked problems. This is why FreeBalance is a government-only Business to Government (B2G) provider and a for-profit social enterprise focused on PFM.

Trends demonstrate that the pandemic is but one of many  wicked problems facing government:

  • Achieve sustainable growth and country Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 
  • Improve citizen wellbeing, equity, social protection, and social cohesion 
  • Adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, digital disruption, and the digital divide 


Takeaways from the pandemic include:

  • Validation that governments are at the nexus of solving wicked problems 
  • Adaptable systems leveraging robust GRP technologies support needed spending changes even in an uncertain environment 
  • Interoperable systems empower decision-making and automate fiscal transparency 
  • Reveal trends to forecast scenarios to adjust spending priorities 
  • Support near real-time transaction audits to reduce corruption and improve value-for-money 


How can governments leverage GRP systems to improve disaster response?

  • Track COVID-19 funds, programs, budgets, commitments, expenditures, inventory, assets, and outcomes 
  • Adjust controls and automate processes for more rapid spending spending while maintaining segregation of duties 
  • Manage liquidity and debt to maximize needed social spending 
  • Identify needed technical and financial support from International Financial Institutions 


Example: good design in budget eceuction includes leveraging scenario planning/what-if analysis during budget formulation
Reality check is that effective GRP has always helped in disaster response for:

  • Natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis  
  • Health crises like pandemics, drought, and food scarcity 
  • Fragility like rebellion, revolution, and regime change 
  • Economic shocks like financial crises, trade disputes, and resource price volatility

Background

Why it matters for government? In the midst of crises is that citizen trust, empowered by transparency, is critical:

  • Citizens can assume that the crisis is used for corruption increasing the change of protests 
  • Citizens distrust government health and behaviour advice leading to poor outcomes 
  • Citizens become reluctant to pay taxes when it’s unclear how governments are helping 


Lessons learned for good governance: update and upgrade PFM procedures and GRP configurations to be resilient for the next wicked problem. 
Look for  upcoming blog entries that dive into PFM and GRP subjects of:

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