This Technical Assistance Report discusses the initiation of the stock-taking of the public investment program in Uganda. This stock-taking will provide a basis for better budgeting by providing information on the existing multi-year project commitments, and the incremental recurrent costs for operation and maintenance of the assets delivered. It will also identify a basic information structure for each project and subsequently collect a data baseline, providing a foundation for more robust project monitoring. It will aid the management of the overall project portfolio. By identifying the scale of existing multi-annual commitments, it will avoid adding projects to the investment pipeline, which cannot be financed under the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses recommendation for managing and preventing expenditure arrears in Uganda. There is need to reconcile the verified stock of arrears with those reported in the annual financial statements. The verification for Budgetary Central Government must be completed, and mechanisms for regular reporting and verification of arrears by local government and the broader public sector must be established. It is also recommended to develop and publish an arrears clearance strategy including prioritization criteria, liquidation policy and institutional responsibility for monitoring and clearance of arrears.
The Selected Issues paper investigates options for improving the efficiency of the Italian judicial system and closing the regional performance gap. Better courts would bring about macroeconomic benefits, including increased employment opportunities, and higher productivity, investment, and research and development. The Italian financial system faces several challenges in order to restore profitability under weak growth conditions and to adapt to a changing global environment. This chapter explores ways of improving profitability and the challenges of shifting from a bank-based financial system, common in EU countries, to a more ‘market-based’ system. Along with this shift comes a diversification of financing sources, led by further development of capital markets. Budget allocation in Italy will need to increasingly rely on efficiency analysis to find savings and improve performance. The analysis in this chapter finds that large social spending in Italy, particularly current pensions, will need to be tackled to generate sizable expenditure savings. In education and non-pension social protection there is scope for improving outcomes with current resources. In other areas, reducing cross-regional variation in spending efficiency could also lead to savings. Reforms should focus on court management, rationalization of the appeal system, reduction of the backlog of pending cases, and wider use of out-of-court mediation.
In March 2009, the Fund adopted the Instrument to establish a new Framework Administered Account to administer external financial resources for Selected Fund Activities (the “SFA Instrument”).1 The financing of activities under the terms of the SFA Instrument is implemented through the establishment and operation of subaccounts. This paper requests Executive Board approval to establish the Government of Australia Subaccount for Selected Fund Activities (the “Subaccount”) under the terms of the SFA Instrument.
In March 2009, the Fund established a new Framework Administered Account to administer external financial resources for selected Fund activities (the “SFA Instrument”). The financing of activities under the terms of the SFA Instrument is implemented through the establishment and operation of a subaccount within the SFA. This paper requests Executive Board approval to establish the Africa Regional Technical Assistance Center West 2 (AFRITAC West 2) Subaccount (the “AFRITAC West 2 Subaccount” or the “Subaccount”) under the terms of the SFA Instrument.
Our work on restructuring the IMF is now well advanced, but our work on refocusing the IMF is only beginning. Over the next few months I expect to see a shift of emphasis in our work away from our internal concerns such as the size and governance structure of the IMF and toward the actions the IMF will take to help our members meet global challenges. Drawing on the ideas set out in my statement on Strategic Directions in the Medium-Term Budget, I will propose action in some of the major areas of the IMF's work. The principle guiding our work will continue to be responsiveness to our members' needs with a focus on the IMF's comparative advantage. We will aim to make substantial progress over the next few months but in a number of areas, the work will continue beyond the Annual Meetings.
This paper looks at the role Sovereign Wealth Funds have played in the Pacific Island Countries in achieving key macro-fiscal policy objectives, namely, protecting the budget from high revenue volatility and strengthening fiscal prospects. Evidence shows that the funds' effectiveness has been hampered by lack of integration with the budget, institutional weaknesses, and inadequate controls. These factors, together with weak asset management, have sometimes led to substantial financial losses and undermined fiscal policy. Funds, if well designed, could be used as a tool to support a sound fiscal framework, but should not be seen as a substitute for fiscal reforms.
This Selected Issues paper on Israel focuses on the fiscal institutions and the political economy in Israel. The paper addresses two questions. First, is there evidence for political-economy distortions to Israel’s fiscal policy? Second, what institutional changes could help in limiting these distortions? The paper presents some data on Israel’s political system and an empirical analysis of the relation between fiscal policy and the political infrastructure. It also presents some options for reducing political economy distortions through reforms in the budget process and institutions.
This paper on Cameroon’s Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative explains implementation of the poverty reduction strategy and macroeconomic performance. Executive Directors agreed that Cameroon’s external public debt was above the HIPC Initiative sustainability threshold, and the country was eligible for assistance in the amount of US$1.26 billion in 1999. Assuming prudent fiscal policies and robust non-oil real GDP growth, Cameroon’s external public debt is expected to be sustainable over the long term.
This 2002 Article IV Consultation highlights that the United States economy slipped into recession in early 2001, as industrial production dropped sharply, investment and exports declined, and employment and weekly hours fell. The downturn was triggered in part by the collapse of the Information Technology boom and stock prices in March 2000, but was further exacerbated by the September 11th terrorist attacks. As a result, following real GDP growth in excess of 4 percent during the previous four years, the economy slowed sharply in 2001.