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Framework For Effective Local Government Finance. World Bank – Public Sector Management Thematic Group Michael Schaeffer March 2005. The ‘Quick Start’ Framework. Components of Effective Local Government Finance A Shift in the Nature of Local Government Budgeting The Capital Budget

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framework for effective local government finance

Framework For Effective Local Government Finance

World Bank – Public Sector Management Thematic Group

Michael Schaeffer

March 2005

the quick start framework
The ‘Quick Start’ Framework
  • Components of Effective Local Government Finance
  • A Shift in the Nature of Local Government Budgeting
  • The Capital Budget
  • The Role of Financial Reporting and Accounting
  • The Treasury System
  • Sequencing of Management Reforms
essential components
Essential Components:
  • Control Structure Derived From Legislative Framework
  • A Standardized Chart of Accounts / Accounting System
  • An Effective Treasury and Cash Management System
  • Internal / External Reporting
  • Effective [Timely] Budget and Reporting System
an effective financial management system

Components of an

Effective Financial Management System

Community Driven

Performance Measurements

Community Ownership

Budget Policies

Formulation and Execution

Community (Participation) Driven

Effective Treasury and Cash

Management Systems

Standardized Transparent/ Accountable

Chart of Accounts (External / Internal Audits)

Accounting Systems

An Effective Financial Management System
shift in the nature of local government budgeting

“Conventional Budgeting:”

Budget Process




Hierarchal/Centralized Control

“New Public Expenditure


Budget Policies/Institutions



Performance Orientation

Decentralized Responsibilities

Transparency and Accountability

Shift in the Nature of Local Government Budgeting
framing local government policy
Framing Local Government Policy

Budgets are Fundamental for Meeting Three Important Policy Objectives:

  • Aggregate Fiscal Discipline;
  • Allocation of Resources [Consistent with Strategic Policy and Priorities]; And,
  • Efficiency and Effectiveness

Local Government Budgets:

In Theory and Practice

Good Budget Practices

Poor Budget Practices






Contestable: Subject to review and evaluation


Information must be accurate and timely.

Transparent: Information about budget practices must be accessible and communicated to a wider audience.

Accountable: Decision makers must be held responsible for the exercise of authority provided to them.

Source: Public Expenditure Management Handbook (1998) World Bank

Unrealistic Planning and budgeting

Short-term budgeting with no medium or long-term implications

Numerous budget revisions throughout the year

Government spends as cash becomes available not according to preset priorities

Deferred budgeting: Arrears build-up as expenditures are pushed into subsequent years.

Distorted priorities.

Informal management: Extralegal behavior dictates how government operates with respect to hiring and procurement etc.,

Corruption: Lack of enforcement of formal rules breeds illegal behavior (corruption).

Source: A. Shick (1998) A Contemporary Approach to Public Expenditure Management. World Bank Institute.

effective financial management and budgeting
Effective Financial Management and Budgeting
  • Set of Activities Where Intentions of Local Government Managers and Politicians Becomes Operational
  • One Mechanism to Determine Local Government Performance is Audit
  • Performance Based Local Government Unit [LGU] Financial Management Necessitates a Change in Local Government Financial Management and Organization
  • Must Produce Information in an Integrated Manner – Budgeting, Accounting, Cash (Treasury) and Debt Management Must be Linked
working within proper legal environment
Working Within Proper Legal Environment
  • Detailed Rules with Respect to Local Government Budgeting, Accounting, Cash And Debt Management
  • Internal / External Audit Responsibilities Should be Designated
  • Role of Any Oversight Agency Should be Defined
  • Jurisdictions, Level of Autonomy, and the Components of Local Government Financial Management Systems Should be Spelled Out
perspective on budgeting
Perspective on Budgeting
  • Establish Clear Operating Procedures Between Management Sections of Each Implementing Department
  • Limit Programmatic Classifications to Only What is Necessary for Effective Decision-making
  • Simplify and Limit Account Classifications
  • Match Budget Authority with Operating Level
  • Codify Budget Procedures in a Manual
  • Develop Performance Measurements that Can Be Used to Measure Efficiency / Effectiveness
budget formulation and adoption
Budget Formulation and Adoption
  • Local Government Budget Should include the Following:
    • Program Elements Should Be Limited / Meaningful
    • Present Multi-Year Data to Include Prior, Current and Forecast
    • Include all Units that Require Government Resources in the Budget Formulation Process
revenue mobilization and forecasting
Revenue Mobilization and Forecasting:
  • Two Principles:
    • Own-source Revenues Should Be Sufficient to Enable LGUs to Finance all Locally Provided Services From Own Resources
    • To Extent Possible, LGU Revenues Should Be Collected at the Local Government Level
  • Most Basic Forecast – Use Revenues From Current Year Increased By a Growth Factor
  • Better to Use Information on Forecasted Tax Bases and Planned Rates to Explicitly Calculate What is Legally Collectible
  • Should Use Information on Tax Compliance Levels to Determine Likely LGU Revenues
expenditure forecast and control
Expenditure Forecast and Control
  • LGU Budgets Should Be Examined For Conservative Characteristics
  • Appropriations Should Be Fixed at Levels Determined By Best Estimates of Available Work, Services, and Price Levels For the Year
  • Local Population [and, Legislature] Have Right to Know LGU Policy Objectives and Targets
  • Informing General Public Increases Transparency, Accountability, and Allows For a General Consensus to Be Reached
budget execution and expenditure control
Budget Execution and Expenditure Control
  • Key Elements For Consideration in The Financial Management of Budget Implementation:
    • Provide Guidelines For Re-programming Budget Line Items
    • Re-programming Requiring Higher Level Approval Should Only Be For Shifts Between Major Line Items
    • Establish Clear Procedures for Committing Funds
    • Establish Clear Procedures for Distributing Allotted Budget Authority on a Quarterly [Monthly] Basis
    • Quarterly Budget Allocations Must Be Made in Conjunction With Aggressive Cash Management
factors influencing escalating expenditures
Factors Influencing Escalating Expenditures
  • Soft Budget Constraints
  • Fragmented Approaches to Budgeting
  • Creating Future Expenditure Commitments By Under provisioning
  • Lack of Transparency
  • Systematic Errors in Budget Forecasting
the capital budget
The Capital Budget
  • Concerned With Creation of Long-Term Assets
  • Organized Along Multi-Year (5-Year) Capital Investment Plan
  • Financing of Investments Often Requires a Different [More Complex] Set of Capacities
  • Officials Also Need Skills to Procure Construction Services in a Cost-Effective, Open Manner
structure of capital budget
Structure of Capital Budget
  • Inventory of Capital Assets
  • Multi-Year Capital Investment Plan (CIP)
  • Financing Plan

Structure of a Capital Budget

Source: A. Premchand (2000) “Capital Budgets: Theory and Practice.”

determining capital expenditure resource allocation
Determining Capital Expenditure Resource Allocation
  • Used in the Production [Supply] of Goods and Services [Productivity Criteria]
  • Life Extends Beyond a Fiscal Year
  • Not Intended For Resale in the Ordinary Course of Operations
number of capital projects that lgu can finance depends on
Number of Capital Projects that LGU Can Finance, Depends On:
  • Level of Recurring Future Operating Expenditures
  • Cost Recovery Elements
  • Availability of Cost Sharing By Different Tiers of Government [or PPP]
  • Debt Structures and Instruments

Capital Budget Issues

Source: A. Premchand (2000) Capital Budgets: Theory and Practice, and Schaeffer et al Croatia: Investment Packaging Manual (2004)

role of accounting and financial reporting
Role of Accounting and Financial Reporting
  • Accounting is Systematic Gathering of Financial Transactions
  • Compiling and Reporting of Transactions in a Meaningful and Systematic Manner
unified chart of accounts
Unified Chart of Accounts
  • Represents Basic Structure of Municipal Financial Accounting
  • Must Include all Categories of Assets, Liabilities, Revenue and Expenditures, And Equity Accounts
  • Provides a Logical Structure For Classifying Transactions
accounting treatments
Accounting Treatments:
  • Cash:
    • Simplest of All Accounting Procedures
    • Records How Much is Received
    • Records How Much is Paid Out
    • Records How Much is in the Bank
    • Simplest to Implement
    • However, May not Provide for Adequate Controls on LGU Transactions
cash accounting not recommended by gaap
Cash Accounting: Not Recommended By GAAP
  • Cash Received as Loan Illustrated as Revenue on Operating Statement not as Liability on Balance Sheet
  • To Correct: Most Cash Accounting Systems Recognize not only Cash, But Other Assets and Liabilities Arising Through Prior Cash Transactions.
  • Does Not Alter Fact that Outstanding Obligations In the Form of Contract or Purchase Orders are Not Immediately Reflected In Accounting Records records.
  • Available Balance May Be Overstated
  • Can Lead to Unwise LGU Expenditures and Potential Overspending
  • LGUs Operating on A Cash Basis May Ignore Obligations to Vendors For Services Received [But Not Yet Paid]
  • This Type of Action Creates A Floating Debt Outside the Normal Financial Management System
  • Cash Basis Accounting Does Not Adequately Record Liabilities Either to Provide Future Services or In Recognition of Services or Goods Received For Which the Bill Has Not Been Paid.
accrual accounting
Accrual Accounting
  • Relates Revenues and Expenditures Not to the Time in Which the Cash is Received or Disbursement Made, But To the Period For Whose Benefit The Transaction Occurs
  • Involves Shifting Existing Financial Features of Current LGU Financial Operations
    • Shifting the Recording Basis From Cash To Commitment
    • Separation of Financial Activities into Current and Capital
    • Include Full Depreciation Allowances that Permit Allocation of Costs over the Life of The Asset Rather Than Recording Expenses When they are Incurred
    • Preparation of Financial Statements in Conformity with International Accounting Standards (IAS) or Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
modified accrual
Modified Accrual
  • Most Transactions are Accrued in the Period in Which Benefit Received
  • Other Transactions – Especially Revenue are Accrued on a Cash Basis
  • General Rule:
    • Expenses are Accrued
    • Income From Taxes, Fees, and Other Sources are Recorded only When Collected (Cash Basis)
  • Net Effect:
    • Bring Income in Line With Actual Cash Available to Pay Bills
    • Ensuring the Recording of Expenses cannot be Manipulated by Delaying Until the Bill is Paid
deciding on an accounting system
Deciding On An Accounting System
  • Moving From Cash to Modified, Accrual Systems Requires Changes in the Organization Flow of Local Government Institutions and Increase in LGU Capacity
  • Primary Importance of LGU Accounting System is that Financial Information Should be Timely, Transparent and Complete
universal features of accounting systems
Universal Features of Accounting Systems
  • Common Denominator:
    • All Systems Should Track Appropriations
    • Supplementary Estimates
    • Use of Appropriations
      • Release of Funds
      • Commitments
      • Expenditures at Verification Stage
      • Payments
  • May be More Effective to Assist LGUs in Improving Cash Basis Accounting First – Rather than Shifting to Other Accounting Systems
financial reporting
Financial Reporting
  • Process of Compiling and Organizing Financial Information Into Meaningful Reports
  • Financial Reports Should [In General] Include:
    • Balance Sheet [Not with Cash] – {However Can Use Simple Balance Sheet Recording Assets / Liabilities}
    • Income Statement
    • Cash Flow Statement
  • Audit Report Should:
    • Analyze the Financial Position of the Local Government
      • Include Trends
      • Quality of Receipts [Revenues]
      • Expenditure Analysis
    • Evaluate Performance of Government on Various Financial Management and Accounting Issues
    • Include Audit Observations
auditing and local government
Auditing and Local Government
  • Audit Function of Local Government Found at Three Levels
    • The Local Government Itself (Internal)
    • Central [Supreme] Audit Office
    • External Private Auditing Companies
shortcomings in lgu audits
Shortcomings In LGU Audits
  • Audit Oriented Toward Reviewing Transactions Rather than Performance
  • Do Not Focus on Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Internal Control Systems
  • In Some Cases, Appropriate Certification of Financial Reports [Annual Accounts] Not Provided
treasury system
Treasury System
  • Treasury Function Covers the Following:
    • Cash Management
    • Management of Bank Accounts
    • Financial Planning and Cash Flow Forecasting
    • Public Debt Management
    • Administration of Grants and Transfers
    • Financial Asset Management
what is cash management
What is Cash Management?
  • Controls Aggregate Local Government Spending
  • Implements the Budget Efficiently
  • Minimizes the Cost of Borrowing
  • Maximizes Opportunities for Using Government Resources
controlling cash flows
Controlling Cash Flows
  • Minimizing the Interval Time When Cash is Received and the Time Available For Financing Expenditure Programs
  • Excess Cash Resources Should Not Be Idle
  • LGU Treasurer Should
    • Establish Written Procedures for Certifying Payments and Transferring Payment Requests to Cash Management
    • Continuously Update Cash Flow Projections
    • Develop Payment Schedules that Allow Individual Departments to Track Payment Requests
    • Establish Standards and Procedures to Assure that Expenditures are Paid Within a Stipulated Time Frame
framework for lgu financial management

Management Information and Decision Support

Financial Information:

Financial Statements

Financial Reports


Budget and Performance Integration

Human Capital Management

Program Management

Performance Measurement

Resource Cost Accounting

Life Cycle Management

Planning and Decisions Support

Strategic Planning

Annual Performance Report

Fee Setting

Competitive Sourcing

Feeders: Local Government Information Systems

HR & Payroll




Property Management







Service Delivery

Core Financial Functions

Funds Management

General Ledger Management

Cost Management

Payment Management

Receivable Management


Chart of Account /


Data Mining and Mapping

Framework For LGU Financial Management
  • Chart of Accounts
  • Accounting
  • Local Government Fiscal Discipline
  • Treasury and Budget Systems