Front Matter

Front Matter

Jack Diamond, and Barry Potter
Published Date:
October 2000
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    © 2000 International Monetary Fund

    Production: IMF Graphics Section

    Typesetting: Alicia Etchebarne-Bourdin

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Setting up treasuries in the Baltics, Russia, and other countries of the Former Soviet Union: an assessment of IMF technical assistance/Barry H. Potter and Jack Diamond—Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund, 2000.

    p. cm. — (IMF occasional paper; ISSN 0251-6365; 198)

    ISBN 1-55775-947-2

    1. International Monetary Fund—Baltic States. 2. International Monetary Fund—Russia (Federation). 3. International Monetary Fund—Former Soviet republics. 4. Technical assistance—Baltic States. 5. Technical assistance—Russia (Federation). 6. Technical assistance—Former Soviet republics. 7. Finance, Public—Baltic States. 8. Finance, Public—Russia (Federation). 9. Finance, Public—Former Soviet republics. I. Diamond, Jack. II. International Monetary Fund. III. Occasional paper (International Monetary Fund); no. 198.

    HJ1214.P67 2000

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    The following symbols have been used throughout this paper:

    • … to indicate that data are not available;
    • — to indicate that the figure is zero or less than half the final digit shown, or that the item does not exist;
    • – between years or months (e.g., 1998–99 or January–June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;
    • / between years (e.g., 1998/99) to indicate a fiscal (financial) year.

    “Billion” means a thousand million.

    Minor discrepancies between constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.

    The term “country,” as used in this paper, does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice; the term also covers some territorial entities that are not states, but for which statistical data are maintained and provided internationally on a separate and independent basis.


    Since 1992, the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department has supported the transition process in the countries of the former Soviet Union, as well as in other transition economies, by providing technical assistance to set up treasury systems. In most Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, treasury systems provide essential financial services to the central government—including payments processing, accounting, fiscal reporting, and financial management—on a comprehensive, often centralized basis. The countries that emerged from the former Soviet Union lacked comparable systems and faced the daunting task of building treasury systems from scratch. In helping them meet this challenge, the IMF has provided technical assistance through various channels—missions, and peripatetic and resident advisors.

    As part of an internal review and evaluation of its work program, the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department carried out a detailed study of the technical assistance provided to develop treasuries in these countries. The assessment followed the standard approach to such evaluation work: it considered whether the basic objective of setting up treasuries had been achieved and whether the resultant reforms were relevant and sustainable. It reviewed the costs of the inputs, outputs, the efficiency with which the technical assistance was delivered, and the effectiveness of the technical assistance program. Finally, it considered the factors that influence the relative efficiency, effectiveness, and impact of the technical assistance program in different countries. This paper presents the major findings of this study and the lessons learned for future technical assistance work in the hope that they will highlight the problems faced when introducing institutional changes in transitional economies.

    The paper has benefited from input from all the staff of the relevant division of the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, which backstopped experts in the field and undertook missions in these countries, in particular William Allan, Jon Craig, Tej Prakash, and P.V. Desai. It relied heavily not only on the self-assessments of resident and peripatetic experts assigned to these countries, but also on a detailed questionnaire, as well as on the comments of resident representatives and desk economists in the IMF’s European II Department. The authors are also grateful to Ehtisham Ahmad, Adrienne Cheasty, Jeff Davis, and Peter S. Heller for comments, and to Carla Cullati and Theresa Garrison for work on the report’s many drafts. Jacqueline Irving of the IMF’s External Relations Department edited the report and coordinated its publication.

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