This paper discusses the findings of fiscal transparency reports on standards and codes (ROSCs) for most EU accession candidate countries. Emphasis is given to the need to establish effective and accountable medium-term budget frameworks to establish policy credibility and anchor adjustment programs to meet EU fiscal goals. Adoption of budgeting and accounting standards consistent with the IMF Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001 framework will also help link budget decisions to EU standards of fiscal reporting. More consistent and comprehensive coverage of off-budget activities is needed for assessing fiscal risk and sustainability. Finally, local government issues need to be addressed by many of these countries since EU fiscal goals are set with reference to general government. Progress in all of these areas can be monitored by keeping fiscal ROSC assessments up to date.
This Technical Assistance report on the Republic of Poland provide details of an IMF mission to analyse next steps in developing a standard chart of accounts (SCoA) and multi-year budget. The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has started many preparatory activities for developing the SCoA. Extensive discussions and presentations during this mission afforded the mission the opportunity to convey information on the conceptual framework for the SCoA in more detail. Counterparts raised issues for clarification during initial meetings with the mission. Through a mini workshop, the mission tried to ensure that all counterparts fully understand the parameters of a multi-dimensional SCoA and the implication of decisions related to it. The main recommendations of this mission on the SCoA present various options available to address issues discussed. The mission recommended increasing the effectiveness of the accounting users’ survey by ensuring that the SCoA survey respondents are made fully aware of the purpose of the survey and the implications of their responses.
The public expenditure management system is in a state of flux. Traditional approaches of expenditure management have serious limitations in addressing current and future tasks. The new approaches toward improved expenditure management, which emphasize the creation of task-oriented agencies, performance agreements, and competitive tendering and contracting, have considerable potential in meeting the tasks. But it is essential to address the detailed operational aspects of these new approaches so that they do not contribute to a shadow government or a government that continues to be weak in regard to contracts and third-party transactions.