The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Treasury systems in sub-Saharan francophone African countries share many features with the French public expenditure management system of the sixties on which they were modeled. However, in a different economic and institutional environment, key elements of this framework have evolved in unexpected, unwelcome directions. This paper critically examines two main features of the French system in the sub-Saharan francophone African context: the strict separation between the person ordering payment and the one disbursing funds, and the centralization of funds in the treasury. This examination calls attention to—and suggests remedies for—the specific flaws that have evolved from the traditional framework.