ICGFM Promotes Knowledge Transfer Among Public Financial Management Experts

Working globally with governments, organizations, and individuals, the International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management is dedicated to improving financial management by providing opportunities for professional development and information exchange.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Reflections from David Nummy, Conference Co-Chair, of the 22nd Annual

Originally uploaded by ICGFM

by David Nummy, Grant Thornton

The 2008 International Conference of the International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management (ICGFM) was held in Miami, Florida during the week of May 19, the 22nd occurrence of this annual conference.

A two-part conference, the first three days covered the theme of "Joining Forces for Responsible Leadership to Enhance Good Governance: The People, the Public Officials, the Private Sector and the Press." Attendees of the conference included senior government officials, leadership of the multi-lateral development banks, and members of the private sector with an interest in public financial management. Over 50 countries were represented among the registrants with large delegations from Africa and Latin America.

Notable speakers at the conference included Richard Thornburgh, former U.S. Attorney General, Members of Parliament from Ghana, financial management specialists from the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, the President of an international NGO focused on media around the world, and the Comptroller of Colombia.

The conference incorporated for the first time some cutting edge technology including the use of "voting buttons" that allowed participants to respond to topical questions either on specific presentations or other issues of interest to the audience. These questions were posed throughout each day and proved to be a big hit with those in attendance as it provided instant feedback on the views and background of the crowd. Also new to this conference was the conduct of a real-time blog on the conference which was organized by FreeBalance, one of the conference sponsors. Using a combination of video and postings the blog was linked to other blogs as well as YouTube, Scibd and Slideshare. The ICGFM blog was mentioned on the IMF Public Financial Management Blog. The blog is still active at: http://icgfm.blogspot.com

The last two days of the conference were focused on Auditing and Accountability and had more of a training focus for those who were particularly interested in these subjects. Among the many interesting sessions was one focused on the influence of different cultural and historical backgrounds with representatives from Anglophone, Francophone, and Lucophone Africa. Perhaps the best summary of the discussion and a theme of ICGFM itself came from Mr. Sidi Sosso Diarra, Verificateur General of Mali, who closed his remarks with the statement, "We need to stop focusing on our differences and increase our focus on what we can learn from each other".
Feedback from the conference was overwhelmingly positive and a particularly common comment was how vividly the presentations had illustrated the impact that the four broad groups-citizens and civil society, public servants, the press, and business-have on government reform.

Auditing and Sustainable Development ICGFM Presentation now Available

The "Auditing and Sustainable Development" presentation from Harvey Mead, the Sustainable Development Commissioner of the Province of Quebec is now available on http://www.slideshare.net

Dick Thornburgh video now Available

Remarks made by former Pennsylvania Governor, Attorney General of the United States, and Undersecretary of the United Nations, Dick Thornburgh, from the 22nd Annual ICGFM Conference are now available on YouTube.

Governor Thornburgh speaks about the affect of corruption on society and the need for corruption to be public.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Serbia Public Financial Management Presentation

Most of the presentation by Sonja Zigova about the financial management implementation by the Serbian Ministry of Finance was recorded.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

ICGFM Conference Day 4 Presentation Notes Available

Read this doc on Scribd: Day 4 (1145) - Session 2 - Diarra Notes

Best Practices for Capacity Development for Supreme Audit Institutions

Micheal Eastman's presentation text and slides are now available on the ICGFM blog.

Read this doc on Scribd: Day 4 (1445)- Session 3 - Eastman Notes

ICGFM Conference Text, Video and Slideshows Uploaded to popular sites

ICGFM enables public financial management professionals to share experiences and good practices. Valuable information that can help governments around the world are being uploaded to popular web sites.

This will enable public financial management professionals to find this information at these sites, this blog and the ICGFM web site. It also enables third parties to embed this information in blogs and wikis to ensure wider dissemination.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

ICGFM Audit Training (Day 4) Presentations Now Available

Audit training presentations from the 22nd ICGFM conference are being posted to www.slideshare.net .

Nigerian Delegation Found Great Value at ICGFM

The following e-mail was received by Nina Powell.

Dear Nina,

First of all I am glad to inform you on behalf of our delegation that we arrived Kano safely on Monday,May
26 2008 without any incident but full of satisfaction about the conference and fond memory of the sunshine
city of Miami which will linger in our memory for a long time to come.

Secondly and more importantly,we wish to express our profound gratitude and appreciation to you and your
wonderful staff for doing everything possible to ensure our safe arrival to Miami,comfort and
participation in the 2008 conference.

As I stated earlier,as a subnational government in the federation of Nigeria,we are also confronted with many
challenges like other nations in the developing world:

  • the challenges of integrity in governance
  • the challenges of meeting the MDG
  • the challenges of rapid and sustainable development
  • the challenges of uor elected leaders to deliver ontheir promise
  • the challenges of a virile civil workforce to deliver services efficiently and effectively
  • the challenges of public financial management reforms
  • the challenges of 'watchdog' agencies to ensure transparency and accountability in governance
  • the challenges of effective public participation to ensure effective governance
  • the challenges of the media and other civil societiesto ensure effective governance
  • the challenges of partnership with the private sector for development and
  • the challenges of support of our development partners

These daunting challenges informed the decision of our state government to approve our participation in the
conference to afford us the opportunity of listening to practitioners,learn from others and on return, to continue with our onward march to the future development of our state and local govenments with new ideas as a learning process.

I must state that we are doing something within available resouces to address almost all of these daunting challenges, Jesse Hughes can bear me witness,but I must aso confess that much needs to be done.

So we looked forward to solutions which have been applied elsewhere,which have been proved by experience, sufficiently documented,which can be shared and used by us and which can be sustained legally, politically, socially, financially, institutionally and strategically.

Against this background,it is the view of our delegation that our participation is a huge success and a step in the right direction given the top notch presentations and the extremely beneficial interactions with other delegates and peers while the conference lasted.

We also thank you most sincerely for finding time despite your tight schedule to not only take us round the Miami city hall but arranged a meeting with a top city official which has proved extremely beneficial to the elected local government chairmen(mayors) in our delegation.

On a personal note I thank you and the ICGFM for the recognition and the token gift which is a thing of
pride to me and my family. Incidentally I have no idea what the recognition is for as I honestly did not hear
the citation very well.Could you kindly explain?

Kindly permit me to end with the little spanish I picked up while in Miami-


Ali Ben Musa

ICGFM Certificate Pictures available On-Line

Originally uploaded by ICGFM

Pictures from the ICGFM certificate ceremony are available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/icgfm/sets/72157605325004053/. These pictures have been reduced in resolution to enable faster downloading. If you would like a higher resolution or there has been a mistake, please e-mail dhadden@freebalance.com.

Bill Dorotinsky of the IMF to discuss Global Trends in Public Financial Management Reform on June 18 DC Forum:

Bill Dorotinsky, Deputy Division Chief in the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department, will speak on some of the global trends in public financial management reform. Public financial management has certainly moved center-stage in the international development fora, and also continues as a key focus of upper and middle income countries.

What are some of the trends in terms of types of reform, reform objectives, and public financial management system progress? Are there lessons for sequencing of reforms? Bill's career spans the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Treasury Department, World Bank, and most recently the IMF. A recent IMF effort to help countries and public finance professionals keep-up with development in the field and internationally is the PFM Blog, available at http://blog-pfm.imf.org


E-mail: icgfm@icgfm.org

Reservations that cannot be kept must be cancelled by e-mail before Wednesday, June 11 to avoid charges.

$25 for ICGFM members, $30 for non-members payable by cash or check at the door.

Forum presentations yield one CPE and luncheon costs are reimbursable for government employees requiring CPEs.

11:30 Check-in
12:00 Lunch
(See “Note” below for details)

The Cosmos Club 2121 Massachusetts Avenue

By Metro:
Take the red line to Dupont Circle. Exit the station on Q Street, and walk 1 1/2 blocks west to 2121 Massachusetts Avenue.

By Car: View MapQuest directions

Parking: There are two parking lots, the Rear Valet lot and the West Garden lot. The Rear Valet Lot is located behind the Club and is accessed by turning onto Hillyer Court located off Florida Avenue. As you enter the Rear Valet Lot a parking attendant will take your car for you and ask you for the name of the function you are attending. The West Garden Lot is also located directly off Florida Avenue. It contains 20 parking spots including 3 handicapped spots and is protected by a gated entrance. There are no parking attendants at this lot. Parking fee for guests is $10.00.

NOTE: We are required to guarantee the number of attendees and must pay for those who make reservations and do not attend. Therefore, reservations will be billed unless a cancellation is received by noon Saturday before the luncheon. Also, since we have no flexibility on number of lunches, there will be a $10 charge for those making reservations after the deadline or walking in without reservations. Late registrations and “walk ups” will be seated for lunch on a space available basis when the main course is served. Late arrivals with reservations will be seated immediately until the main course is served and then seated on a space available basis. We are sorry that we cannot be more flexible.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Elusive Bird Captured on Video

A video claiming to be irrefutable evidence of the existence of B4, the elusive Biscayne Sparrow seen by credible witnesses from 51 countries, has been uploaded to YouTube. The video was allegedly shot during the 22nd ICGFM Conference in Miami. Experts have speculated on other so-called evidence for other mythical creatures including the Loch Ness Monster, the Indomitable Snowman and Big Foot. B4 is possibility the smallest mythical creature ever captured digitally.

The video uploaded in the early hours of May 22nd from an undisclosed location in Miami Florida appears to show three short clips of the Biscayne Bay Brown Bird (B4). Included on the video is some audio that purports to be from the 22nd ICGFM Conference. Speakers can be heard discussing good governance and accountability in government.

Experts in the study of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) will examine the evidence closely. One expert, who asked not to be named, believes that the video is a crude hoax designed to promote the ICGFM blog. "It is a foul attempt to promote the notion of accountability in government", he said.

Members from the "FreeB4 Coalition"argued that the bird was being exploited by public financial management professions and should be freed from the Marriott Biscayne Bay.

Ironically, the main theme of the ICGFM conference was the role of different actors, the public, the private sector, public officials and the press in promoting good governance and accountability in government. The American press was taken to task for its sensational reporting of unimportant events. Once again, the press, or another actor, has stooped low.

The Private Sector Needs to do More to Improve Government Governance

Originally uploaded by ICGFM

David Nummy of Grant Thornton and the Conference Co-Char for the 22nd ICGFM Conference, heralded the success of the event. Mr. Nummy summed up the themes for the first part of the conference. The theme for the conference was governance with an emphasis on the role of citizens and civil society, public officials, the private sector and the press. He asked the delegates about which of these groups has had the greatest impact on governance in their countries. The voting results were:

  • 46% Citizens and Civil Society
  • 33% Public Officials
  • 0% Private Sector
  • 21% The Press

Mr. Nummy suggested that the low score for the private sector may have been because the delegates were mostly from the public sector. Many of the conference speakers discussed how the private sector can take a larger role to reduce corruption.

Part 1 of ICGFM Conference Comes to an End

Originally uploaded by ICGFM

Beatriz Casals, the current President of ICGFM, closed the first part of the 22nd. ICGFM Conference on Wednesday May 21st. Ms. Casals thanked the delegates from 51 countries who attended the conference.

Ms. Casals introduced Jim Ebbitt of Mosley and Associates as the next President of ICGFM. The conference saw the introduction of new methods for collaboration including this ICGFM blog sponsored by FreeBalance and the use of voting machines. She told the delegates that new ideas were presented during the Board Meeting including the option of holding conferences in different locations.

Overview of the December ICGFM Conference

Richard Hudson describes the themes for ICGFM conferences and provides an overview of the upcoming Winter conference.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Value of ICGFM Conference

The Co-chair of the ICGFM Conference, David Nummy o f Grant Thornton, explains the value achieved at this ICGFM conference.

Public Financial Management is the Core of the Core for Governance

Originally uploaded by ICGFM

Jim Brumby of the World Bank says that PEFA has been mainstreamed at the World Bank. PEFA (Public Expenditure and Financial Expenditure) also provides an opportunity for dialog among countries and with donors. Mr. Brumby also asserted that public financial management is the "core of the core" for governance at the World Bank.

Countries like to compare with other countries and see the rate of progress over time. This leverages the objective comparitive information available through PEFA. PEFA also provides discipline in the World Bank to improve internal processes.

Mr. Brumby (standing)said that the country needs to be "in the driver's seat" for PEFA to be effective.

Case studies from Mali, Malawi and Columbia were presented by husitha D. Pilapitiya of Casals & Associates (left). Dr. Miguel Angel Moralesrussi Russi, the Controller of Bogota Colombia, (near right) andJohn Sitton of Emerging Markets Group, (far right). Reference was made to the presentation from the previous day.
(Located at http://icgfm.blogspot.com/2008/05/introduction-to-pefa-framework-to.html)

Mr. Brumby says that the HR indicators from the PEFA model are being piloted at the World Bank.

Do we need an International Standards Board for Public Accounting?

Mohammed Mohsin Khan, the Controller General of Accunts for the Government of Pakistan, suggests that we need a forum for public sector accounting. We have standards for reporting (IPSAS) and audit (ISSAI), but there is no organization to set standards and practices for “supreme accounting institutions”. Mr. Khan hopes to get your comments on the blog.

Do International Organizations need to do More in Anti-Corruption?

Over 2/3 of delegates at the 22nd ICGFM Conference in Miami believe that internal audits from international organizations have not gone far enough. The voted was accomplished during the questions and answer session with Governor Dick Thornburgh.

Governor Dick Thornburgh says that the Issue of Corruption has come to Center Stage

Dick Thornburgh
Originally uploaded by ICGFM

Former Governor of Pennsylvania, Dick Thornburgh, discussed the need to reduce official corruption in order to achieve economic development, during his keynote address for the Wednesday session of ICGFM. Governor Thornburgh says that we need to examine the cost and benefits of corruption and pointed out many high profile causes of corruption around the world.

As Under-secretary General of the United Nations, Governor Thornburgh recommended the creation of an Office of the Inspector General. This met significant opposition. Many copies of his report were immediately shredded. Corruption had been thought of at the World Bank, up until 1996, as a political situation that was outside the mandate of the World Bank. Good governance is required for economic growth and attack poverty.

Governor Thornburgh described the remarkable progress made in the international community over the past decade. He cautioned that the fight is not over and that more resources are required for international institutions like the World Bank and the United Nations.

The recent Washington Post article describing the "obsession with corruption" was cited as an example of the resistance against effective anti-corruption.

Governor Thornburgh provided a checklist for creating effective anti-corruption at the country level. Political will is the most important factor. :Without such leadership, even the most effective anti-corruption measures will fail."

Governor Thornburgh suggested that overcoming the threat of terrorism will expose the deep need for economic development. "Citizens worldwide will demand more accountability."

Governor Thornburgh speaks about the affect of corruption on society and the need for corruption to be public.

Some additional information is available at:

ICGFM Pictures Available on Flickr

Originally uploaded by ICGFM

Miami Conference pictures are available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/icgfm/

Another Hot Day in Miami

Originally uploaded by ICGFM

The weather experts predict another hot day for Miami. They are right if they are talking about the 22nd ICGFM Conference. Public Financial Management experts from around the world have been discussing, sharing and debating.

Part One, the main part of the Conference ends today. Audit and Accountability training sessions begin tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Open Budget Index

Pamela Gomez, Center for Budget Policy Priorities, spoke about the Open Budget Initiative at the 22nd. Annual ICGFM Conference. These indicators are similar in some ways to PEFA, said Ms. Gomez, because they follow good practices and are evidence based.

This acts as a tool by credit rating agencies, donors, legislatures and civil society. The Open Budget Initiative focuses on publicly available data. A study of 50 countries was provided in 2006. A new report for 90 countries is expected to be published in October of this year.

Introduction to the PEFA Framework to monitor government performance

Frans Ronsholt of the PEFA Secretariat (Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability) described how government performance can be monitored. PEFA was created because it was difficult to determine whether Public Financial Management (PFM) systems were improving results.

The PEFA Framework consists of 31 indicators that can help to improve the performance of PFM systems from budget preparation to audit. International public sector standards from the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board ( IPSAS) and the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI). The Framework has been used by over 90 governments with an increase in sub-national evaluations.

Policy Performance Indicators at the Millennium Challenge Corporation

Results of an attendee poll at the 22nd ICGFM Conference show limited knowledge of the existence and processes of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

Tom Kelly of the MCC admits that the mandate and processes are complex and that no one has been able to create a simple "elevator pitch".

Dr.Kelly points out that MCC cannot give enough money away to make an impact by itself. For example, the Philippines received more direct private aid in a year than the entire MCC budget. The MCC focuses on policy improvement to achieve economic growth.

MCC uses 17 different indicators in 3 categories to evaluate policy. The indicators are generated from outside the MCC from organizations that are not funded by the MCC creating an objective model. Although inprecise, Dr. Kelly suggested that the expression in a scorecard method has received significant currency in countries. For example, scorecard results are often used by business to determine whether to invest in countries.

The Right to Information

Mr. Wajahjat Habibullah, the Chief Information Office of India spoke about he information revolution in India from the freedom for information to the right of information in his country This includes the right to inspect works, documents and records. Mr. Habibullah summarized his thoughts on the right to information in the short video below.

The World is out of Balance

Djordjija Petkoski of the World Bank Institute says that the annual cost of corruption is over $1 Tillion. Mr. Pekoski put a human face on the effects of corruption at the ICGFM conference explaining that the world is out of balance. "It is not a transaction."

Over 2.6 billion people or 40% of the world lives on less than 1$ day. "Should we be sorry," he asks. "It is more about opportunities."

Mr. Petkoski (left) was joined by Eugenio Marulanda Gomez, President Confecemas Colombia (center) and John Sullivan from the Center for International Private Enterprise. Mr. Gomez spoke about the need for measurement to determine how effective programs are working.

Statistics show that the amount of net flows from the private sector to developing nations is far more than official donor and government funding. Therefore, the private sector must play a larger role in reducing corruption. The private sector can work for collective action to motivate the reduction of corruption. The World Bank and partner organizations are setting up a portal to assist the private sector to reduce corruption.

John Sullivan described how important the OECD Convention on Anti-Bribery has been to break the taboo about talking about corruption. Mr. Sullivan does not believe that corruption is based on culture. He recommends reading the book, The Logic of Collective Action, by Mancur Olson to show how collective action can work to reduce corruption.

Copies of Development Outreach was provided to attendees.

Linking Performance Management and Budget in Government

Jim Wright from Grant Thornton speaks about the need to integrate performance management with budget preparation and execution. The budget represents the legal financial expression from governments. Performance management attempts to measure primarily non-financial measurements.

Cosmas Sirili Lamosai talks about the 2009 ESAAG conference

Cosmas Sirili Lamosai, the Chief Executive Officer of the East & Southern African Associations of Accountants General gives information about the 2009 ESAAG conference in Rwanda.

Accountability and Transparency should not be "buzz words"

Relmond Van Daniker, Executive Director of the Association of Government Accountants, says that accountants give information to governments to help make decisions. He asks whether these financial statements help citizens make decisions. Mr. Van Daniker believes that current government reporting is too cumbersome for the average citizen.

In an AGA/Harris poll in 2008, the majority of Americans polled said that they did not get adequate information about government financials. The majority claimed that understanding the financial situation would affect their voting behaviour.

The AGA has created a citizen-centric report located at: http://www.agacgfm.org/citizen/default.aspx. Mr. Van Daniker pointed out the number of government organizations using this format and believes that this approach is starting to gain momentum. The U.S. Department of Defense is expected to be the first American federal government organization to use this approach.

Aid Management and Financial Management

Emily Kallaur of the the Development Gateway Foundation advocates that aid management and financial management systems should be integrated. Aid management and harmonization is one of the areas of concern for the DGF. "Many countries receive large amounts of external funding that are not reflected in the government's budget, but are captured in an aid management system," she commented. By linking a system such as the Aid Management Platform to a financial management system, it's possible to create a comprehensive picture of the country's resources and how they are being used, empowering policymakers to make more informed decisions."

Dr. Aaron Lobel says the role of media is for critical thinking

Dr. Aaron Lobel of America Abroad Media showed examples of how the media can be used to assist in critical thinking. “The media is a vehicle for ideas”, says Dr. Lobel. He quoted Napoleon during his keynote address; “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.” He pointed out that the ability to make fun of political leaders is a sign of a mature country.

With the modernization of media in developing nations during this information age, Dr. Lobel believes that the media must help citizens questions and suggested that “we need more of it in our country”. He cautions that the media in the United States can be lazy because of the desire to leap to conclusions.

Unlike during the cold war where governments sponsored media, Dr. Lobel believes that private media and NGOs should be involved in monitoring government and critical thinking.

Dr. Jesse Hughes on the Benefits of Accrual Accounting in Government

Dr. Jesse Hughes, Vice President: Publications and Communications for ICGFM, advocates international public sector financial standards. In particular, Dr. Hughes promotes the move from cash to accrual accounting in government as he explains in this video.

Dr. Hughes recently discussed whether the United States federal government should adopt IPSAS regulations on the AGA blog.

Democracy in action

The ICGFM conference has been blessed with a swooping sparrow flying throughout the hotel. This caused lots of discussion and interest. The group voted on the best name suggested from conference attendees using a conference polling system.

06% Swuup
24% BEV (birds eye view)
14% Colombo
18% Poverty(because it is so difficult to eliminate
38% B4 (Biscayne Bay Brown Bird)

Conference Chair David Nummy suggested that this is because we have such a numbers-oriented group.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Accountability and EU Accession

Dr. Arpád Kovács, President of the Hungarian State Audit Office, said that the new members of the European Union faced the similar and complex problems in financial management at the ICGFM conference. These includes problems in the lack of credible budgets and transparency. Growing globalization has drawn governments to modernize in order to support economic growth. This helps to converge economic development with public finances.

The Dimensions of Accountability

Mitchell O'Brien of the World Bank expanded traditional concepts of accountability with newer concepts of accountability and the legislature's accountability tools. Mr. O'Brien provided a copy of a World Bank document called "Accountability in Governance" because accountability can be difficult for practitioners to define. There are so many different factors of accountability. Answerability and enforcement represent the two stages of accountability regardless of the modality of accountability.

  • Traditional accountability tends to be defined by horizontal (state institutions to check government actions) and vertical accountability (citizens and media attempt to influence accountability).
  • Newer concepts of accountability describes social accountability (such as citizen report cards or participatory budgets) and diagonal accountability (vertical or horizontal accountability actors engaging directly with citizen and citizen groups).
Mr. O'Brien says that the legislature should function within the government on a horizontal basis and engage civil society in order to achieve broad and effective accountability.

Read this doc on Scribd: Day 1 (1700) - Theme 3b - OBrian Notes

Internal Controls Critical for Public Financial Management

“Internal controls are critical for the safeguarding of public money” said the Hon. Gavin Woods, Member of Parliament, National Assembly of South Africa. Mr. Woods presented a ‘Financial Management Reform Model’ at the ICGFM conference in Miami. The reform model for government consists of three stages:
  1. Planning reforms includes policy objectives, strategic planning, Medium Term Expenditure Frameworks (MTEF) and the the annual performance budget
  2. Operational and management reforms includes procurement, personnel management assess, working capital and internal controls
  3. Accountability and oversight reforms include oversight by the Supreme Audit Committee (SAI) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)
Performance management requires audit to ensure that the government has achieved the best value for money. Mr. Woods is seeing a switch from compliance "with every single rule" to performance in South Africa. Corruption can be reduced through information availability, variance analysis, corporate performance culture, limited computer fraud, audits, GAAP disclosure requirements and better means of investigation. This provides a "paper trail" for accountability. Criminal sanctions in South Africa address financial malfeasance.

Team Building needed for Public Financial Management Projects

Elisha Qokoch Ratokelo Nkoka advocates team building to ensure successful projects. Mr. Nkoka, the Director Language Improvement and Culture from the Lesotho Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology has seen how team building can ensure more effective teams making better decisions.

Legislatures needed to ensure Good Government Financial Management

Originally uploaded by ICGFM

Ivor Beasley of the World Bank says that legislatures need to effectively monitor the government to improve accountability. The legislative systems differ among countries, according to Mr. Beasley. Strong public accounts, audit and budget committees are needed to improve public financial management.

The case of Ghana was described by Marilyn Aniwa, the In-Country Coordinator of the Parliamentary Center and two Members of Parliament, the Honorable Paul Collins Appiah-Ofori and the Honorable Samuel Sallas-Mensah. The introduction of live public meetings in 2007 has shown the people of Ghana that the the government can be held accountable by the legislature.

Large Nigerian Contingent visits ICGFM

Originally uploaded by ICGFM

Additional ICGFM pictures available at www.flickr.com. Search for "ICGFM"

Peter Aliferis on Financial Management

Peter Aliferis, Deputy Executive Director Operations and Director of Professional Certification for the AGA says that good financial management is critical for government. Citizens need to know that governments are spending money wisely and effectively.

ICGFM Highlighted by the Development Gateway Foundation

The Development Gateway Foundation , an international nonprofit organization that provides Web-based platforms to make aid and development efforts more effective around the world has highlighted the ICGFM conference on their web site.

Good Governance linked to Economic Development

Originally uploaded by ICGFM

It has been proven that good governance is required for economic development, according to Roberto Tarallo of the World Bank. In his keynote address for the ICGFM conference in Miami, Mr. Tarallo pointed out the importance to go beyond the machinery of government to the private sector, citizens and the press to ensure good governance and transparency.

Read this doc on Scribd: Day 1 (0930) - Keynore - Tarallo

Lin Weeks given lifetime membership

Originally uploaded by ICGFM

In appreciation of her hard work, Lin Weeks was given lifetime membership to ICGFM. Beatriz Casals, President of ICGFM (on the left) said that Lin (center) brought ICGFM back from the brink of disaster five years ago. Nina Powell (on the right) was also recognized for her contribution.

This spring ICGFM conference is the largest ever, thanks to the contribution of many behind the scenes like Beatrix, Lin and Nina.

International Community Well Represented at ICGFM Conference

Knowledge transfer and social networking is a primary concern for ICGFM. According to Beatriz Casals, the President of ICGFM, during the “first three days of the conference, many of the speakers will present lessons learned and best practices applied as they introduced financial management improvements in their governments.”

This year, the conference welcomes large contingents of public financial management experts from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nigeria, The Bahamas and Uganda. Over 40 countries are represented. Speakers and presenters come from among Canada, Columbia, Ghana, India, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Peru, Serbia, South Africa the United States. Donors and Non-Governmental Organizations are well-represented.

The third Monday in May is Victoria Day in Canada. The keynote presentation last year came from Ken Cochrane, the Chief Information Officer for the Government of Canada on the subject of service transformation.

Accountability Theme this Year

Originally uploaded by ICGFM

The ICGFM conference begins later this morning at the Marriott Biscayne Bay in Miami Florida. The conference kicks off with a keynote address by Roberto Tarallo from the World Bank about public expenditure and financial accountability. This is an important subject for all governments and all levels of government.

The headline from this mornings USA Today was “Bill for taxpayers swell by trillions. Deficit far bigger than government estimate.” The article points out that the American Federal Government does not account for the long-term liabilities for obligations such as medicare and social security. USA Today has been providing estimates of these obligations since 2004.

This year’s conference explores the role of external sources of accountability including the press, the private sector and citizens.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

ICGFM Spring Conference Begins Monday May 19th

Over 400 public financial management professionals are registered from over 40 countries for the 22nd ICGFM Conference in Miami Florida. The theme for the 22nd ICGFM conference is: Joining Forces for Responsible Leadership to Enhance Good Governance: Citizens, Public Officials, Private Sector and the Press.

This highly interactive conference asks: “who needs to be involved to get good governance and how do you go about getting their attention?” International renowned speakers and subject include:

  • Tony Hegarty – Public expenditure and financial accountability
  • Aaaron Lobel - The role of Media in Emerging Democracies
  • Richard Thornburgh – Current issues in accountability and integrity for global organizations
  • Genaro Matute – Improving auditing and accountability in Peru
  • Mark Funkhouser – Comparative performance auditing

Key themes for the conference include:
  • New programs and approaches to achieving accountability
  • Effective teamwork across and among the sectors
  • International lessons learned and proven best practices
  • Promoting good governance and transparency
  • Combating fraud and tackling corruption
  • Enabling accountability in times of crisis
  • Sustainable development and government capacity building
ICGFM is a non profit organization specializing in knowledge sharing about public financial management. Presentations from previous conferences are available at http://www.icgfm.org/reports.htm. Presentations from this year will also be available. Additional notes, comments and suggestions will appear next week on this ICGFM blog.

More information about the conference is avvailable at: http://www.icgfm.org

Public Fund Digest Volume VIII Now Available

Originally uploaded by ICGFM

ICGFM showcases good practices in government financial management from around the world in the 2008 edition of the Public Fund Digest, available at: http://www.icgfm.org/documents/JournalFinalVIIINo1_000.pdf

Public Fund Digest volume VIII includes:

* Public Sector Accounting and Auditing Diagnostic Tools for Comparing Country Standards to International Standards by PK Subramanian
* Public Expenditure Management - Peer-Assisted Learning (PEMPAL) Initiative in Europe and Central Asia by Nikola Vukicevic and Rich Bartholomew
* Measuring and Improving the Quality of Supreme Audit Institutions of Developing Countries – Likely Challenges by Ayodeji Ogunyemi
* Contingency Factors Affecting the Adoption of Accrual Accounting in Malagasy Municipalities by Rakoto Harimino Oliorilanto
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