Liberia Counterpart Studies Finance Ministry on PFM Reforms

A team headed by the Deputy Minister for Administration, Ministry of Finance & Development Planning Hon. Rebecca Y. McGill has concluded a one week study tour which is geared towards enhancing knowledge sharing on experiences, best practices and lesson learnt by the Government of Sierra Leone in the implementation of its Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms.

The objectives of the study tour is to work out details with her Sierra Leonean counterparts on the formation of a complete and comprehensive donor intervention matrix; the execution of the reform agenda from the context of Sierra Leone and how it relates to Liberia; and an internationally acceptable reporting format on the execution of the reforms.

According to the Head of Delegation Hon. McGill, the government of Liberia has made steady progress in the implementation of its Public Financial Management (PFM) reform agenda, noting that in September of 2012, the government launched the multi-donor funded Integration Public Financial Management Reforms Project (IPFMRP).

She said the IPFMRP officially closed on June 30, 2016, as a result, an implementation Complementation Report was produced, which among other things recommended the implementation of the formation of a separate project management outfit to manage the affairs of the project.

She said the delegation from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has an in-depth appreciation on the implementation of PFM reforms by the PFM Reforms Division within the Ministry of Finance in Sierra Leone.

“The team has also gained an understanding on the linkages of the various components within the PFM landscape and their lines of reporting and the formation of a comprehensive donor intervention matrix and its alignment so as not to avoid duplication of funding, and an acceptable reporting format on the execution across Government,” she said.

As a result of the study tour, certain action points were made, which include effective network of PFM officers through knowledge sharing, peer learning and when possible exchange visitations.

The team also evident that the Liberia Reform Coordinating Unit (RCU) is constrained with staffing as currently the Unit is staffed with a Coordinator and assisted by a deputy and a PFM Specialist to champion the reform agenda of the Government of Liberia.

The delegation hopes to develop its PFM Reform Strategy after Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) which is slated for December 2020

“The Sierra Leone PFM governance structure which shows the three tier governance committees was explained and it was noted that Liberia structure starts with the second-tier (Technical Committee) and the Steering Committee but lacks the first level of the Thematic Technical Working Group structure where objectives, activities and outputs of the PEMRS are closely monitored and reported upon,” according to one of the action points.

The Principal Deputy Financial Secretary (PDFS) at the Ministry of Finance Mr Mathew Dingie thanked the team for choosing Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Finance as a case study, noting that Sierra Leone and Liberia have been on exchange programme for a long time now.

He said he is aware of the economic challenges both countries are faced with, but progress has been made so far.

“One of the good things about PFM, it does not have an end game, noting that even countries with bigger economies do go through PFM reforms. Our focus now is to ensure that PFM works without human intervention that is why we are trying to digitalize the reforms,” he said.

According to him, revenue is at the heart of everything they do as a nation, adding that revenue is key for government to deliver on it key promises.

The delegation comprises Hon. Rebecca Y. McGill Deputy Finance Minister Administration, Mr. Vee-Musa Fofana Coordinator, Mr. Joseph K. Fahnbuleh Deputy Coordinator and Mr. Abel D. Nowon Financial Management Specialist.