Whole system approach improving public financial management around the world
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Whole System Approach Improving Public Financial Management around the World. CIPFA Presentation – November 2010. Alan Edwards, International Director CIPFA. CIPFA. The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) The Leading Professional Accountancy Body for public services

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Whole System Approach Improving Public Financial Management around the World

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Whole System ApproachImproving Public Financial Management around the World

CIPFA Presentation – November 2010

Alan Edwards, International Director CIPFA


  • The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)

  • The Leading Professional Accountancy Body for public services

  • Key Influencer in the Development of Public Policy

  • Running major PFM development programmes around the world

WSA – what is it?

  • Analytical framework that supports development of effective PFM at country level

  • A prompt for improvement

  • An holistic model that complements existing assessment tools

  • A stimulus for review

  • New thinking supported by DFID

CIPFA thanks DFID for kind support

Why do we think its important?

  • Sound PFM is fundamental to international development and poverty reduction

  • Public finance should be conducted in public interest

  • High and exacting standards are needed to engender the public’s trust

  • Demonstrable efficiency should be evidenced in use of public resources

Supports Paris Aid effectiveness declaration 2005

What does it say?

Advocates a whole system approach to PFM reform and improvement

Proposes a new definition of PFM – explicitly recognises the importance of demonstrating outcomes

Suggests a new reference model – assisting countries to chart current institutional architecture

Identifies that an holistic approach is necessary – including a supportive country environment

A framework for developing and strengthening PFM globally

What is the paper NOT trying to do?

Be prescriptive – improvement is local and must be tailored to characteristics, capacities and priorities of each country

Create a new tool to measure PFM – PEFA is a useful tool (we train people on how to use it) and there are many diagnostics like the CIPFA FM Model

Criticise current PFM practice and reform programmes

CIPFA sees its role as prompting critical analysis not being critical

Why whole system?

Recognises the interconnectedness of key players

Supports the need for financial accountability, citizen involvement, parliamentary scrutiny and absence of corruption

Identifies need for improvement across the system – no one initiative on its own is sufficient

Recognises there are checks and balances in every system – the key is to act together to make PFM effective

The whole is more than the sum of the parts

Who is included in the whole system?

International sponsors

Global bodies

Regional bodies

National bodies

Sub national/ sector bodies

A clear organisational framework is used to help countries to map their own system

Who is it for?

Governments, donors and their advisors

Ministry of Finance or Treasury in countries focused on PFM reform

Accountancy institutes

PFM professionals – who design , implement, operate, review, evaluate PFM

All countries whatever their state of development

What are key conclusions?

Using money well is business of every manager delivering public services

PFM is not just for accountants

Need to stimulate system wide improvement

Better PEFA is not an objective – better outcomes for citizens and changing lives is

Selecting the PFM reform approach depends on local priorities and circumstances

Do not forget learning and growing is a key part of improvement

Donors should not focus on the short term and immediate fiduciary concerns

There is no one route to better PFM

What do we want you to do next?

Strengthen PFM – international partners should work together

Review your whole system of PFM

Identify underperformance eg training providers with low technical skills

Find if there is an absence of key players eg an accountancy body with PFM training

Develop sustainable PFM plans eg not just short courses

In short build a PFM profession

What is CIPFA doing next?

Sharing lessons learnt re professionalisation

Producing case studies based on our experience

Lesotho – use of CIPFA International Certificate and Diploma

Tanzania – the World Bank PFM SCDI pilot

Mozambique – strengthening the SAI

Nigeria – CIPFA/ ICAN twinning and developing the Federal Training Agency

Holding a major international conference on PFM trust and accountability in London 15-17th March 2011

See www.cipfa.org.uk/international

Fulfilling our charter to strengthen PFM globally

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