The temporary increase in access limits under IMF emergency financing instruments will expire on October 5, 2020, unless extended. Access limits under emergency instruments (the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI)) were increased in April 2020 for a period of six months, from 50 to 100 percent of quota annually and from 100 to 150 percent of quota cumulatively. The increased limits are subject to review and can be extended before their expiration.
It is proposed to extend the period of higher access limits for emergency financing for a period of six months, through April 6, 2021. Against a background of continued pandemic-related disruption, staff expects there could be significant demand for emergency lending in the October 2020–April 2021 period, including from countries with pending requests and from countries that received emergency support at levels less than the maximum amounts available. A six-month extension would give more time for countries to benefit from higher access limits under emergency financing.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the technical advice and recommendations of the IMF mission to the authorities of Malawi regarding strengthening fundamental controls and reporting. The government is determined to restore control over public funds. Considerable progress has been made on the reconciliation of the 2015/16 transactions of selected bank accounts. Issues related to transactions before 2015/16 should be investigated and resolved. The auditor general and the Central Internal Audit Unit (CIAU) are investigating unmatched or potentially duplicate payments for 2009–June 2015. It is recommended that the accountant general investigate possible duplicate payments identified by the CIAU.
This Supplement Information focuses on recent developments regarding the Malawi government’s response to the recent fiscal scandal and on the implementation of two remaining prior actions. The IMF staff welcomes the continued progress in implementing remedial actions to address the recent fraud and actions by the authorities toward meeting the end-December 2013 quantitative targets. The IMF staff also welcomes the interim forensic audit report. Although it did not contain all the information sought by the IMF staff, it had enough to assure the IMF staff that the remedial measures being implemented by the authorities to strengthen system controls and financial management are in the right areas. Some risks remain. It will be important to cautiously implement the fiscal spending program to preserve buffers, lest the final audit reveal slightly larger fund misappropriation.