In response to a request from the authorities and as part of the Data for Decisions (D4D)1 funded project under the submodule for Fiscal and Debt reporting, a government finance statistics (GFS) technical assistance (TA) mission was held remotely with the Lesotho Ministry of Finance (MOF) during April 5–16, 2021. Previous TA missions under the Enhanced Data Dissemination Initiative (EDDI2) over the period spanning from 2016 to 2020 assisted the MOF to improve GFS compilation and dissemination for the budgetary central government (BCG) and inspired action to broaden data coverage to include local governments and extrabudgetary units (EBUs) with the aim to compile and disseminate consolidated general government GFS. Preliminary local government GFS have now been compiled, and data collected for selected state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and parastatals, including non-market SOEs that can now contribute to preliminary general government GFS to be compiled.
In response to a request from the authorities and as part of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) Enhanced Data Dissemination Initiative (EDDI) 2 project, a government finance statistics (GFS) mission visited Maseru, Lesotho, during January 20–31, 2020. The mission was the last, in a series of five consecutive technical assistance (TA) missions to Lesotho, as part of the EDDI 2 project. The objective of the five-year project, that started in 2015 was to foster compilation and dissemination of GFS and public sector debt statistics (PSDS) consistent with international methodological standards. The work program under the project identified the enhancement of classification of transactions in fiscal accounts and the expansion of the institutional coverage of data to include all significant general government units as key milestones to achieve by the end of the project.
This paper on government finance statistics (GFS) mission in Lesotho presents a review of progress against recommendations of previous GFS technical assistance (TA) missions and further assist with improving the quality of GFS currently compiled and disseminated. The mission reviewed progress with implementation of previous GFS TA recommendations and updated the public sector institutional table. The mission reviewed the new compilation methods and noted some improvements with the approach. Accounts payable are now recorded under financing, to bridge the timing difference of commitment basis expenditure. The report explains that the legal and institutional environment is conducive to compiling macroeconomic and financial statistics; the relevance and practical utility of existing macroeconomic and financial statistics are monitored; management processes are in place to monitor the quality of macroeconomic and financial statistics; and institutional integrity, transparency, and ethical practices meet statistical standards. There is still a need to correct recording to distinguish expense from acquisition of financial assets.
The authorities reiterated their firm commitment to the policies and objectives outlined in the May 17, 2010 Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies. They are committed to a reduction in other primary spending by 2 percentage points of GDP. With the medium-term outlook broadly unchanged, the policy discussions focused on the FY2011–12 budget and the authorities’ structural reform agenda. Revenues are projected to fall in 2011–12, reflecting the disappearance of exceptional receipts in 2010–11. On the spending side, the authorities are facing a number of additional commitments—some of which are of a temporary nature.