PUBLIC FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
Institutionalizing good economic governance and linking it to economic development
Solidifying government and citizen ownership of the reform process
Emphasizing the use of host-country resources
IBI’s approach is founded on these three core principles:
IBI’s PFM Work/Projects
Clients can rely on IBI to be a leading source of knowledge and world-class consulting for improved public financial management and economic governance. We have provided governments around the world with improvements to the policy and regulatory enabling environment, organizational development, and individual-level skills to manage public assets and govern more effectively. For example:
In Ukraine, IBI worked with the State Fiscal Service to implement a pilot project to modernize customs functions and bring Ukraine closer to compliance with the European Union’s conditions for integration.
In Honduras, IBI performed a risk assessment of the Honduran Social Investment Fund (FHIS) to determine the FHIS’s eligibility for USAID Government-to-Government funding activities.
In Liberia, IBI helped the government remodel a secretive budget process into a dynamic, results oriented process that tripled revenues in four years; IBI also advanced reforms at four state-owned enterprises, transforming business that were operating in the red into profitable entities within five years.
In Peru, Ecuador, Colombia IBI analyzed the effectiveness of programs designed to enhance trade, including programs that support SMEs and regional programs designed to ensure compliance with WTO rules.
In Ethiopia, IBI helped implement new procurement guidelines, procedures and structures at federal and regional levels. We drafted a procurement manual in Amharic and implemented a training of trainers program reaching some 500 procurement officials.
In Liberia, IBI supported the Liberia Revenue Authority to improve voluntary tax payment compliance by making it easier for citizens and companies to pay taxes through decentralized revenue collection windows.
IBI supported the Liberian Civil Service Agency to secure Cabinet approval of a policy to pay civil servants using Mobile Money. IBI successfully used pilot initiatives to prove the concept and test mobile money payment procedures for a variety of employees.
Our Approach to Modernizing Public Financial Management
Modernization of public financial management has proven to create transparency and accountability. These, in turn, inspire professional pride in government officials and confidence in the population. IBI has facilitated this process in several countries on four continents. Beginning with the initial meetings with host-country officials, IBI suggests looking for opportunities for quick wins in performance improvement to demonstrate progress, let officials take credit and give them praise in accomplishment.
It is important to identify, and reward, these early champions of transparency. We suggest reviewing where indicators suggest declining performance or lack of progress on reforms and then identifying the root causes that explain these situations. The program should outline an incentive structure that drives the quality of performance at the central and line ministry levels. This will guide the strategy for improving the culture of adherence and will encourage sustainability.
IBI uses structured performance improvement methodologies, such as USAID’s Human and Institutional Capacity Development (HICD) or Harvard’s Performance Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) to help identify these champions and their organization's readiness for change, as well as a tool tp focus on sustainability through stakeholder involvement throughout the process. Both methods work with local officials to identify the problems and develop commitment to reform.
Appreciative Inquiry (AI) or ‘positive deviation’ approaches often work well in developing country environments. Rather than focusing on performance gaps, AI hones in on what is going right in the organizations and looks for ways to build upon those strengths. Because this methodology avoids labeling units or individuals as non-performers, it is often better accepted, especially in cultures that focus on honor and saving face. AI can be used in conjunction with HICD or PDIA.
Key components of any reform efforts include good communications throughout the process, so we encourage USAID to plan for a robust communications strategy as a key component of the project.
Using process mapping and the above performance improvement methodologies, IBI prides itself on providing high-quality, exceptional services to its clients including
Making available its seasoned executives for strategic assignments
Fielding world-class experts in a timely fashion
Managing contracts to ensure rapid and sustainable return on investment, and
Collaborating with both host country officials and the funding agency to ensure responsiveness and clear, sustained client performance improvement.
Coordinating with other programs, including USAID projects and other donor funding, often instituting and managing formal consultative processes
Our Experience Implementing PFM Reform
IBI implemented the Liberia Administrative and Systems Strengthening (LASS) PFM task order. We built the institutional capacity of the National Election Commission’s (NEC) core administrative and management systems to plan, budget, and procure for future electoral activities in compliance with Government of Liberia (GOL) regulations. The program period of performance dictated program objectives be completed in advance of the critical 2017 general election. IBI provided targeted capacity development to the NEC to support the Commission in achieving its core objectives, specifically through strengthening administrative and managerial systems. The program covered the areas of budgeting and financial management, procurement and ICT, as well as human resources, asset management, and other critical areas as identified by the NEC.
The LASS project's initial assessments were completed using USAID’s HICD approach, which IBI has refined to meet the Liberian context during its 10 years of experience with the GOL. PDIA methodology has informed IBI’s approach and is a key element of the project’s overall Human and Institutional Performance Improvement methodology. For example, NEC leadership and staff played a key role in the initial performance assessments. Each subject matter expert from IBI's team worked with a NEC counterpart in their functional area to identify and understand NEC’s administrative performance gaps. Thus, LASS is both problem-driven and fitted to the specific local/institutional context.
IBI has worked extensively in the areas of transparency in public financial management, establishment of process and procedures to budgeting planning and execution requirements, enhanced internal auditing capacity and external audit use to reduce corruption, public procurement reform, asset management, domestic resource mobilization, and other areas of financial management.
As prime implementer of the five-year, Governance and Economic Management Support (GEMS) project, IBI improved the institutional capacity of 16 key Liberian ministries, agencies and commissions (MACs) that the GOL, USAID, and IBI selected for assistance in successive stages. IBI’s team installed computerized systems for financial management, asset management and human resources, including a full tool-set for merit-based civil service. The financial management sub-team of twelve professionals developed and used an assessment tool that addressed staffing capacity, technology use and/or readiness for Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) implementation, along with the four key elements of financial management as required by the PFM Act, namely: 1) MTEF Budget Formation and Execution; 2) Cash Management; 3) Accounting and Reporting; and 4) Internal Controls and Audits.
The objective of the ongoing five-year, Bangladesh Trade Facilitation Activity (BTFA) is to bolster economic growth by creating greater efficiency in cross-border trade and increased trade-related revenue. To achieve this overall objective, IBI has assisted drafting of a new Customs Law that provides for electronic signature of financial transactions and a risk-management approach to Customs clearance to replace mandatory inspection of shipments.
We worked with Customs to produce a new website that calculates duties and taxes automatically, publishes all Customs-related laws and regulations, and provides general information for traders and travelers. It will soon have a National Enquiry Point and a Customs Hotline. IBI’s team is also implementing a modern financial risk management system and establishing a post-clearance audit system. Our goal was to increase Customs revenue without driving up the cost of doing business. The results: GDP is up 30 percent since 2013, as are general revenues and Customs revenues. Customs revenues as a percentage of total revenues have stayed flat at 29%, as was the goal.