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

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.
FreeBalance International Steering Committee: Wicked Problems
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 

Current Covid-19 PFM Response Checklist
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 

Follow the Health Money: Feedback Loops
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 

Budget Execution
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


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 

Trust in Government: 3 Phases of All Crises
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:

Future PFM & GRP Resilience Requirements