Assessing Public Financial Management: introducing the new PEFA framework

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Public Financial Management (PFM) is the administration of public funds for the delivery of public services. 

PFM is a core governance function and an essential part of economic government.  Sound PFM allows a government to prioritise development needs, allocate resources efficiently, and strategise for the future.  It also ensures accountability in the management of public resources and is critical to the achievement of development and policy objectives.

Parliaments play a key role in public financial management systems.  They shape, review and ratify budgets that represent the needs and concerns of citizens, and they track the faithful implementation of those budgets through their oversight powers.  With the support of Supreme Audit Institutions, they keep a close eye on public accounts and expenditures, calling ministries to account where necessary.

Assessing PFM systems: The PEFA framework

"The Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) framework provides the foundation for evidence-based measurement of countries’ PFM systems. A PEFA assessment measures the extent to which PFM systems, processes and institutions contribute to the achievement of desirable budget outcomes: aggregate fiscal discipline, strategic allocation of resources, and efficient service delivery.

Following a program evaluation in 2012, the PEFA Partners have launched the new PEFA 2016 framework. The upgrading process has involved detailed review by teams of technical experts and extensive international consultation. Proposed refinements have also been analyzed and comprehensively tested.  PEFA 2016 incorporates new and updated benchmarks that reflect the changing landscape of PFM reforms and the evolution of good practices over the last decade."

For more information on the new PEFA framework, please click here

Pro PALOP- TL SAI: Strengthening Public Financial Management in the PALOP and Timor-Leste

UNDP’s pro PALOP-TL SAI project strengthens the technical and functional skills of SAIs, parliaments, parliamentarians and civil society in the PALOP and Timor-Leste countries.  The project is fully funded by the European Union, for a total amount of 6.5 million Euros.  By building the capacities of these institutions, and by strengthening the information flow between them, the project aims to build stronger, more efficient PFM systems that deliver sound economic governance. 

Pro PALOP-TL SAI made extensive use of the PEFA assessments in building its country profiles, and the PEFA framework was outlined in detail at the project’s High-Level Seminar on External Control and Legislative Oversight of Public Expenditure.  To find out more, please visit the pro PALOP-TL SAI website or watch the interview with Ricardo Godinho Gomes, project manager

Coming soon: free e-learning course on Public Financial Management

In cooperation with the Pro PALOP-TL SAI project, AGORA will soon be launching its latest e-learning course on ‘Public Financial Management: the Role of Parliament, Supreme Audit Institutions and Civil Society’.  Keep an eye out for updates or visit our e-learning Portal.