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A global survey of Public Financial Management (PFM) leaders by Grant Thornton International, in association with the International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management (ICGFM) along with MIT Center for Finance and Policy, finds innovative, transformative practices in government public financial management are being sustained, but that improvements are still needed.
Other key findings:
- Nearly unanimous agreement for the need for substantial infrastructure investment to support economic expansion. And while nearly three-quarters are looking at public-private partnerships, only 53% of respondents who have used in the past report success.
- While 68% say their countries have a formal PFM reform program in place, critical gaps exist in the ability to deliver reforms, as 38% cited technical assistance issues and 33% cited employee training and new legal frameworks challenges.
- Many expect social media to ultimately become their primary channel to increase transparency, but only 43% are currently using. Respondents believe social channels are effective in bringing greater transparency (73%) and making these allocations more responsive to citizen priorities (53%). Some 75% use websites to increase transparency, which while a high number, is still low given the age of this channel.
- In 2013, 76% said the global financial crisis continued to have an effect on their country’s PFM reform agenda. This year that total dropped to 66%. Meanwhile, the proportion saying the crisis has led to the adoption of new risk management practices has risen to 59%, up from 38% in 2013.
- PFM leaders are also focused on a number of more recent economic problems, such as the Euro crisis and the collapse of commodity prices. Overall, PFM is having to come to terms, not just with the lessons of one major financial crisis, but with how governments can live with less over the long term. Seventy-one percent agree pressure to develop more efficient and effective PFM practices has led to the reform of budgetary and financial management systems.
To obtain a copy of the complete study, which includes detailed survey results and insight, go to: innovation in public financial management or www.icgfm.org. To interview a Grant Thornton partner, contact Scott.King@us.gt.com.
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GTIL Global Industries, Public Sector