This Technical Assistance Report discusses that the authorities are making some progress towards higher quality and more comprehensive Government Finance Statistics, however, sufficient information for meaningful monitoring and surveillance of the public sector in Zimbabwe should be considered a long-term goal with several remaining challenges. The government of Zimbabwe has recently embarked upon an ambitious reform program for public sector corporations, which is expected to lead to a dramatic reduction in government balance sheet risk via contingent liabilities and the direct fiscal impact arising from the high likelihood of those guarantees being called. The report also highlights that the Accountant General office should have the ability to set a standardized format and the required information for general government financial statements which are to be reported for all subsectors and ministries. The mission recommends that the authorities review compliance with Republic of Zimbabwe Public Finance Management Act of 2009 across general government subsectors, including, all local government units, Extrabudgetary Units funds and social security funds.
This paper discusses Ghana’s Seventh and Eighth Reviews Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement and Request for a Waiver of Nonobservance of Performance Criterion (PC). Ghana’s macroeconomic performance has significantly improved in the last two years under the ECF-supported program. The elevated debt burden and fiscal risks from the financial and energy sectors limit policy space. The large loss of foreign exchange reserves in 2018 is a pointed reminder of Ghana’s exposure to shifting investors’ sentiment and external shocks, amplified by the government’s still elevated financing needs. Ghana’s legacy of political budget cycles will test the authorities’ commitment to macroeconomic discipline and reform in 2020—a challenge that the authorities intend to face head on. Corrective measures have been put in place to address the PCs missed at end-June (three) and end-December (two) and the continuous PC on credit to the government by the Bank of Ghana.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
This paper discusses that the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) has also launched three new evaluations—which will analyze the IMF’s role on fragile states, its financial surveillance activities, and its advice on unconventional monetary policies—and two evaluation updates—which will look into the IMF’s exchange rate policy advice and structural conditionality. The evaluation found that, for the most part, the IMF’s euro area surveillance identified the right issues during the pre-crisis period but did not foresee the magnitude of the risks that would later become paramount. The IMF’s surveillance of the financial regulatory architecture was generally of high quality, but staff, along with most other experts, missed the buildup of banking system risks in some countries. The report found several issues with the way decision making was managed by the IMF. In May 2010, the IMF Executive Board approved a decision to provide exceptional access financing to Greece without seeking preemptive debt restructuring, even though its sovereign debt was not deemed sustainable with a high probability.
In response to the recent financial crisis and the ensuing buildup in public indebtedness, an increasing number of advanced economies have created independent fiscal institutions (IFIs) to improve the quality of public finances and to strengthen the credibility of government policy. A review of Japan’s fiscal policymaking over the past decades suggests that Japan would greatly benefit from establishing an IFI in line with internationally accepted standards of good practice. Such an institution could help correct critical weaknesses in policymaking and anchor expectations, especially if introduced as part of a fiscal framework with a medium-term perspective.
This paper discusses key issues related to Senegal’s economy. Government proposals for constitutional reforms were approved by 63 percent of the vote in a referendum held on March 20, 2016. Growth was robust at 6.5 percent in 2015 and is projected to continue at a similar level this year. Although the economic outlook remains favorable, downside risks remain. Economic policies and structural reforms are needed to sustain growth and continued fiscal consolidation to meet regional convergence criteria. To keep growth buoyant, steadfast action is needed in following three areas: (1) improving business environment to open economic room for small- and medium-sized enterprises and foreign direct investment; (2) strengthening public financial management and governance; and (3) rebuilding government's fiscal space.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Luxembourg’s economic model, emphasizing fiscal stability, openness, firm prudential oversight, and responsiveness to investor needs, is delivering strong growth. Buoyant financial services exports contributed to real growth of close to 3 percent in 2014, with strong job creation. Budget 2015 launched a multi-year fiscal consolidation aimed at offsetting falling revenues from electronic commerce. The economy faces important challenges going forward. Evolving international tax transparency standards, in which Luxembourg is participating fully, could impact the revenue base. Growth is projected at 2.5 percent in 2015.
The Management Implementation Plan puts forward a range of measures crucial to strengthening surveillance, carefully drawing on the IEO’s report and on the Triennial Surveillance Review (TSR). Yet stronger surveillance cannot be cast simply in terms of technical processes, such as those for better data, risk assessments, macro-financial integration, or messaging. Deeper and more difficult questions of institutional culture, of how we conduct our daily work, are also at play, and these too need to be answered. I will focus on two aspects of the task at hand: (1) breaking down silos; and (2) promoting diverse views/candor. I would like to share with you today some initiatives that the management team has sought to implement over the past nine months, to go over the initial results, and to propose a way forward with what remains to be done