Public financial management performance in need of urgent improvement

14 May 2024

Public financial management performance in need of urgent improvement

New research to be launched at the Africa Public Sector Virtual Conference hosted by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) on 15-16 May highlights deficiencies and route to stronger public service delivery.

Vital insights from a cross-continental group of public sector leaders and experts have shaped new research from ACCA which will be launched at the third edition of the successful pan-African virtual event.

The report, PFM Performance in Africa, says that, while public financial management (PFM) in Africa has significantly evolved over the last decades, the pace of reform continues to be challenged by systemic issues and deficiencies that undermine major investments from governments and development partners.

It identifies four priority areas of support urgently needed to improve performance:
Empowering effective co-ordination – including the need for key legislative and policy updates required to facilitate effective oversight, the institutionalised use of performance assessment tools and improvement of inter-agency and inter-sector collaboration.
Driving people development – in order to positively impact public service delivery, people need to be developed to acquire a combination of specific soft, technical and ethical skills.
Ensuring data integrity – the report recommends an impact-focused as opposed to input-focused approach to digitisation to ensure data integrity.
Improving resource efficiency – increasing transparency and improving internal control and audit processes were found to be fundamental in enabling the sustainable use of resources across the public sector in Africa.
Report author Evelyn Isioye, Regional Lead, Policy and Insights – India & Africa at ACCA said: ‘This report not only highlights the critical factors hindering effective public finance reforms across Africa, but more importantly, sets out practical interventions that need to be prioritised to enhance performance. Public financial management systems vary across sampled countries, but we see a common theme of transformative impact in improving the quality of public service delivery in the region.’

The conference will also explore the developments and constraints facing the public sector institutions across key areas such as adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), sustainability policies, enabling diversity, equality and inclusion, as well as gauging readiness for public sector sustainability reporting.
Delegates will also benefit from the expertise of leaders, researchers, academics and policy shapers in the public sector around sustainable governance, effective domestic resource mobilisation and the exploits of the ongoing public finance management reform agenda in Africa.  Featuring lively panel discussions and expert presentations, key speakers include:
Hon. Felix Mutati, Minister for Technology and Science, Zambia
Vonani Chauke – Deputy Auditor General, South Africa
Sunil Ramdeen – Accountant General, Mauritius

ACCA Director for Africa Jamil Ampomah said: ‘We believe that the accountancy profession plays a pivotal role in building strong public financial management systems and achieving sustainable reform objectives. By building capacity and fostering collaboration between the public sector and relevant key stakeholders, we look to enable strong institutions and systems to optimise public sector delivery.’
To find out more about the conference and to register, please click here. The full report will be available on our website on 15 May.

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