Some reflections on the PEFA experience in Latin American “PEFA in Latin America, Seven Years of Implementation” EuropeAid's Workshop Brussels, 4-5 December 2012 Public Sector and Governance Unit Latin America and the Caribbean Region The World Bank Objective and scope of the presentation • Provide some feedback based on experience from practitioners and individuals working with Governments for ad hoc workshop input • Some studies taken into consideration, but this presentation is not really based on a rigorous study The use of PEFA has been extensive in LAC An incomplete inventory… Country Total PEFAs Country Total PEFAs Country Total PEFAs Antigua & Barbuda 1 Ecuador 2 Peru 1 Anguila 1 Grenada 2 Paraguay 2 Aruba 1 Guatemala 1 Suriname 1 Barbados 2 Guyana 2 El Salvador 1 Bolivia 2 Honduras 3 Turks & Caicos Islands 1 Brazil 1 Haití 2 Trinidad & Tobago 2 Bahamas 1 Jamaica 2 Uruguay 1 Belize 1 St. Kitts &Nevis 2 St. Vincent & Grenadines 2 Colombia 1 St. Lucia 2 TOTAL NATIONAL 51 Costa Rica 1 Montserrat 2 Dominica 2 Nicaragua 1 Dominican Republic 4 Panama 1 …and also at the subnational level Country Total PEFAs Argentina 4 Brazil 4 Colombia 1 Honduras 1 Peru 3 TOTAL 13 In total, there are 64 PEFAs official performed in the LAC Region. Fairly, wide spread use across countries and well-known instrument. Some Public Financial Management Features in LAC Progress with pending challenges • Great variation across countries (from Chile to Haiti) • Progress over recent decades (Dener et al, 2011; Vani, 2012), but also stagnation… very country specific. • In general, challenges remain: • • • • • • Budget management and the linkages between medium-term fiscal management and budget; Treasury management; Arrears recording and management Budget transparency and upgrading of accounting standards. Sector level PFM operations Other areas: investment, performance budgeting, revenue Subnational dimension Differences between LAC and other Regions • • • LAC FMIS World Bank portfolio: larger, somehow better performing (IEG) and with follow up operations (Cem et al, 2011), first movers (pioneers?) On transparency related indicators, LAC average performance was above the average global performance. PFM system performance varies across regions, and in general terms, Eastern European and LAC perform better, reaching on average roughly equivalent to a C+ score, while South Asian countries average slightly below C (Renzio, 2009). Region Transparency Average Africa 2.37 East Asia & Pacific 2.46 Eastern Europe & Central Asia 3.10 Latin America & Caribbean 2.83 Middle East & North Africa 2.63 Norway 3.67 South Asia 2.96 Global 2.66 Source: PEFA assessments 2005-2010. PEFA usefulness in LAC Messages from practitioners • Very useful instrument to open up and trigger policy discussion with governments, including subnationals, willing to improve their PFM practices, particularly when linked with fiscal and macroeconomic management efforts. • Very effective entry point for policy dialogue, particularly on overall system of control and compliance (even if changes are not materialized right away; e.g. Nicaragua, Brazil.) • Can help track progress. If implemented on regular basis, the methodology also serves as a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tool event if selectively used in some of the dimensions or indicators. (e.g. El Salvador, Paraguay, selected PEFA indicators were used as outcome indicators for lending operations.) The subnational dimension • • • • Challenges at the subnational level drive demand for PEFA Diverse world of subnational entities (size, autonomy, capacity) PEFA already present in large federal countries Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. Experience so far is mixed and shows that : • The strict approval and review process required by the PEFA Secretariat and the political sensitivities can generate problems in the formal approval of the reports (Argentina) • Problems with quality and accuracy of report findings. Despite the quality control processes, the quality of PEFAs depends mostly on the experience and diligence of the consultants (Brazil). • All in all, useful instrument for clients that can support subnational and federal initiatives (Mexico, accounting harmonization) PEFA limitations in LAC Messages from practitioners • • • • • Culture and political economy context. Lacks a strong legal and political economy analysis. (e.g. in El Salvador and Nicaragua, the report was delivery during political transition, causing the lack of involvement of the incoming Government administration and the present one on the final report.) Quality and independence. • Even though the PEFA methodology is oversight by the PEFA Secretariat, the standards of the reports might depart significantly among them depending on the experience and diligence of the technical team. • Ratings may be influenced by country relationship issues (e.g. Brazil ). • Quality of the report and the way they are presented might influence the policy dialogue. Client ownership. Assessment by external consultants or individual experts can create lack of local ownership (Nicaragua, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago). Methodology / indicators. • Adequacy of existing assessment methodologies and performance indicators are mostly suitable for central/upstream PFM functions (Ministries of Finance) • It is more oriented towards public expenditure and includes only a few indicators for revenue, customs and procurement. Lack of quantitative indicators in some areas. • Issues on measures of budget credibility since PEFA does not distinguish between deviations due to ineffective budget processes or external shocks. • Indicators do not allow for a detailed understanding of the quality of PFM and in particular ought to have more regard to the quality of management. Heavy review process. The approval process required by the PEFA Secretariat is quite heavy creating political sensitivities in some cases (e.g. subnationals in Argentina). The way forward Some ideas and questions for discussion • • • • Can / should PEFA capture the political economy of the reform? Successful PFM reports depends on political support and leadership. It is essential to take into account the political context when designing reform. Coordination between the technical level and the political level is crucial. Can ownership and independence be maintained? Without ownership, reform stops when the money from donors stops. Without independent review the quality is compromised. Can the methodology combine self assessment with independent review? Strong process guidelines and good practices cases could guide. Areas covered and indicators. Should under-served areas such as revenue or procurement reviewed? What is the balance between quantitative and qualitative indicators? Can exercises of “PEFA plus” (e.g. Brazil) provide some inspiration for further areas (e.g. public investment, budget performance orientation)? Can tools and exercises like CATT or IAMTAX inspire some changes? Enhancing quality without increasing the heaviness of the review process. Is it possible to simplify the review process and maintain a consistent quality? Does it make sense to come up with a “lighter PEFA”, both in terms of scope and the review process, for subnationals, without losing the systemic view? Country Case Studies Case Study: Guatemala • • • • • Donors provided long-standing support to develop PFM systems. Country’s IFMIS considered among the best practices in LAC Despite robust systems in place PEFA reveals weaknesses in actual practices and identifies rooms for improvement: • multi-year budgets and linkages to medium-term planning; • arrears recording and management; • sector level PFM operations. The Guatemala PEFA 2010 might be considered as a good practice for promoting effective policy as well as technical dialogue based on the report findings. The good practices are referred to: • The way the methodology was presented and executed in order to promote country’s ownership. The PEFA report was carried out through a joint assessment between the PEFA evaluation and a local team. • At government’s request, the exercise went beyond traditional PEFA and included a policy recommendation section jointly developed by PEFA and Government’s team (PEFA plus). Case Study: Nicaragua • • • • • Nicaragua is an IDA donor-dependent country that made progress in improving PFM arrangements over years. However, it that faces serious issues of transparency and used of off-budget funding. PEFA was suggested as a means to identify issues and areas for improvement as well as to inform preparation of PFM modernization engagement and to help benchmark and monitor progress. Government rejected the preparation of a formal PEFA as they feared it would become a source to condition future financial assistance from Bank and donors. Selected PEFA indicators were chosen and used for monitoring purposes in absence of a formal report. Case Study: El Salvador • • • The PEFA exercise was undertaken in close collaboration between the EU and the World Bank as part of strategic engagement to support macro and fiscal management in the country in 2009. Donors used the PEFA together with a Public Expenditure Review (PER) to engage in strategic policy discussion with the new administration. PFM specific areas of improvement highlighted by the report included: • budget management and its linkages between medium-term fiscal management; • treasury management; • budget transparency and upgrading of account standards.