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.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Administrative Cameralistics

Professor, Dr. Oecon. Norvald Monsen
Norwegian School of Economics and
Business Administration (NHH)

Cameral accounting is an accounting model, which was developed in the continental European German-speaking countries (Austria, Germany and Switzerland; see Buschor, 1994) to be used in government organizations as an alternative to accrual accounting. In the previous issue of International Journal on Governmental Financial Management, Monsen (2008) presents this particular accounting model, consisting of two main versions, namely administrative cameralistics and enterprise cameralistics. Administrative cameralistics, the main version, was developed for use by core government organizations. These are primarily financed from tax revenues through the annual budget (agreed by parliament). Enterprise cameralistics was developed for use by government owned enterprises. These are more similar to business enterprises (being market-financed) than core government organizations.

Monsen, Administrative Cameralistics

Accrual Accounting For the Public Sector - A Fad That Has Had Its Day?

Andy Wynne

For the last decade accrual accounting has been presented as the reform for public sector accounting and the basis for the wider New Public Management reforms and the marketisation of the public sector (Barton 2005, Ellwood and Newberry 2007, Ouda 2004 & 2005, Wynne 2007, etc). However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the claimed benefits of introducing accrual accounting are not being realised in practice. In the few countries which have actually adopted this reform, for example, Australia New Zealand and the UK, the evidence is now suggesting that, if their governments’ knew then what they know now, that the move to accrual accounting may never have taken place (Dorotinsky, 2008).
Wynne Accrual Accounting for the Public Sector - A Fad That Has Had Its Day

Use of Financial Management Information Systems to Improve Financial Management and Accountability in the Public Sector

Summary of the Proceedings of the winter 2007 ICGFM Conference 

Over the past few decades, governments and development agencies alike have invested enormous financial and human resources into automating public financial management (PFM) systems, and often the results have been less than hoped. Governments have had difficulty implementing systems, and have not achieved desired functionality. And development partners have invested large sums of money, only to find systems delayed in implementation, having limited impact, and often with real challenges to the sustainability of the systems.

On December 2-4, 2007, the International Consortium of Governmental Financial Management (ICGFM) held a two-day workshop in Washington DC entitled "Use of Financial Management Information Systems (FMIS) to Improve Financial Management and Accountability in the Public Sector". The conference goal was to share current thinking on Public Financial Management (PFM) system automation, and provide practical advice to those concerned with PFM implementation.

Use of Financial Management Information Systems to Improve Financial Management and Accountability in the P...

An Introduction to the U.S. Municipal Bond Market

George F. Summers 
Salisbury University
Thomas R. Noland
University of Houston

With a market value exceeding $2.6 trillion, the U.S. municipal securities market offers state and local governments many capital investment-financing opportunities. Many readers, however, may lack an understanding of the issuance process, the quality of the available information, or the inherent risks associated with these instruments. We describe the traditional municipal bonds process beginning with the initial offering preparations and the methods of sale. We discuss the types of interest costs and the use of the bond proceeds. We identify typical bond types and call provisions. We then turn to a discussion of the investment characteristics of municipal bonds. We explain credit ratings, credit enhancements, potential risks, and oversight and reporting. Our discussion is supplemented with data from the municipal bond market from 2001-2007. Our paper provides the reader with a basic understanding of the institutional structure, available information, and potential risks for this economically significant market.
Summers, Noland an Introduction to the U.S. Municipal Bond Market

Government Finance Statistics in Turkey

Prof. Dr. Necdet SAGLAM
Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences
Anadolu University, Turkey

The foundation of modern public financial reporting lies in the communication of financial information about the government’s activities to its citizens and their representatives in parliament. This information should refer to the activities of public administrators for the entire state, covering pre-determined periods. This is a key aspect of the accountability of the Government and its administration to parliament and the electorate more widely. It is
increasingly a requirement of international obligations as required by, for example, the IMF and the European Union.

Saglam, Government Finance Statistics in Turkey

Generic Model for Government Sector Reform: The New Zealand Experience

Dr. Hassan A. G. Ouda Ph.D, M.Sc.
Consultant and Expert in Government Sector
Accounting and Budgeting Reform
e-mail: ouda@eurnet.nl / hassanouda@hotmail.com

The past two decades have witnessed a metamorphosis in the government sector of several countries. One particular reform approach has been adopted by such countries as New
Zealand, UK, Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Canada, USA, etc. A considerable body of studies have been conducted with the aim of modeling the government accounting innovations of these countries (Luder, 1992, 1994, 2001, Jaruga and Nowak, 1996, Godfrey et al, 2001, Christensen, 2002 and Ouda 2001, 2004 and 2005). Other studies have tried to model the totality of their public sector management reform (Pollit and Bouckaert, 2000). Whilst these studies have attempted to model some components of this type of government sector reform, no study has tried to model these government sector reforms from a generic perspective and to give a comprehensive picture of the whole spectrum of this type of government sector reform. This study will attempt to fill this gap in the literature by developing a generic model for government sector reform based on (1) a profound study of the practical experience of New Zealand as a pathfinder country in respect of the comprehensive government sector reform and (2) on the Basic Requirements Model (BRM) for Successful Implementation of Accrual Accounting in the Public Sector (Ouda, 2001, 2004 & 2005) which can assist in determining the basic requirements for success with this approach to government sector reform.Ouda, Towards a Generic Model for Government Sector Reform the New Zealand Experienc

The Accounting Discipline and the Government Budgeting Concept

Joseph Mensah Onumah
jmonumah@yahoo.com or jmonumah@ug.edu.gh
University of Ghana Business School, Legon
Samuel Nana Yaw Simpson 
University of Ghana Business School, Legon

The government budget has been influenced by different disciplines with different emphases. This paper discusses some disciplines which through time have influenced the budgeting concept – political science, economics, public administration and accounting – stressing that government accounting, and its research, which earlier has been almost ignored, especially in developing countries, should be revisited. This can engender positive developments; the adoption of sound accounting practices in budgeting and public finance, engagement of skilled accounting personnel and can limit considerably the misapplication and misuse of budgetary resources that have characterised public institutions especially in developing countries, and ensure better budgetary outcomes.

Onumah, Simpson the Accounting Discipline and the Government Budgeting Concept

Determining Audit Findings

Frank Knight knightfold@ripnet.com
Consultant, Canada
This article explores some of the challenges in developing audit findings. The message is that there are more ways than one to approach the audit and that the auditor should not be  constrained by a rigid application of the standard methodology. We present here two
alternative approaches. Simply stated they are:
  • Traditional Model: What should be; what is; finding results from identification of a gap or difference.
  • Alternative (or Converse) Model: What is; what could be; finding results from judgement of whether appropriate / not appropriate in the circumstances.

Knight, Determining Audit Findings

Internal Investigations And Transparency The End of Mr. Dominick’s Distinguished Career

Daniel Edelman, Director of Accounting Programs
Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University-Commerce, USA
Virginia Fullwood
Instructor, Texas A&M University-Commerce, USA
Gordon Heslop
Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University-Commerce, USA
Tim Wilson
Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University-Commerce, USA

Investigations of allegations of misconduct are necessary to monitor and control actions of agents (employees). Reports on facts found are also necessary to provide transparency and to provide a basis for action or change. Reports on allegations found not to be true and resulting in no recommended action serve a limited purpose and sometimes cause harm to agents. A balance is needed between disclosures required for transparent agency relationships and the harm transparency causes to agents. The purpose of this paper is to describe the need for this balance, using the example of a specific investigation conducted by a Government Agency. The illustration will then be used to comment on the current state of internal controls over investigations of financial management and to suggest improvements in these controls.

Edelman, Fullwood, Heslop, Wilson, Internal Investigations and Transparency the End of Mr. Dominick’s Disti...

International Trends in Government Accounting

Pawan Adhikari
Frode Mellemvik
Bodø Graduate School of Business Bodø University College, 8049 Bodø, Norway

There is no standardized global framework for the adoption and implementation of accrual
government accounting. This has lead to a questioning of the consistency and comparability of financial statements prepared and presented in different jurisdictions. Two approaches are widespread which deal with the issue of financial consistency and comparability across nations and organizations; the accounting approach and the statistical approach. Whilst the former uses accounting standards for the preparation and presentation of general purpose financial statements, the later emphasizes the statistical bases for producing accounting information for economic analysis and policy making. Many countries have adopted both approaches providing widely different financial measurements. This seems not to be an effective way of using resources. However, there are some promising bridges between them in applying and requiring consistent financial information. Harmonizing these two systems into a single set of government reports is a significant issue in international issue in public sector accounting.
Adhikari, Mellemvik International Trends in Government Accounting

Fiscal and Budget Management System Principles, Issues and Debates

Femi Aborisade
Centre for Labour Studies (CLS) and Department of Business Administration
and Management Studies The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Nigeria
centreforlabourstudies1@yahoo.co.uk aborisadefemi@yahoo.com

The budget is a government’s key financial plan. It should enable the government to achieve the main international objective of poverty reduction by ensuring that basic services (including, health, education, water, housing, electricity) are available to all citizens and that progressive taxation is used to fund these services and reduce the prevailing levels of inequality. This paper considers Nigeria as an example of a major developing country and considers the extent to which the government’s budgetary process is achieving these objectives. It also considers some of the major current debates around fiscal and budget management.

Aborisade Fiscal and Budget Management System Principles, Issues and Debates

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Trends in Accountability from an Auditor's Perspective

February 4, 2009 (Washington DC)
Trends in Accountability from an Auditor's Perspective

The role of the public auditor has advanced beyond verifying numbers and financial reports. Today, auditors in the public sector have evolved into serving as an independent source of accountability for not only financial performance but for commitments to outcomes, policies, efficiency, and effectiveness. In addition to serving the public interest, public sector auditors can be a valuable resource for management by providing important feedback on overall performance.

Our panel, representing internal audit functions of international organizations, will discuss trends in the role of the public audit function, the tools being employed in performing this new role, and what we can expect in the future for public accountability. The panel will consist of:

  • David Nummy, moderator, (Executive Director, Grant Thornton)
  • Alan Siegfried (Executive Director, IDB)
  • Linda Fealing (Inspector General, OAS)
  • Barry Potter (Director of the Office of Internal Audit, IMF)

The International Consortium sponsors a learning forum and luncheon the first Wednesday of each month from January through June, and from September through December, at The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Sessions begin at 11:45 and details can be found on the Upcoming Events page on the ICGFM web site. Summaries of the presentations and question-and-answer periods which follow are published on the ICGFM blog

Working with Communities improves Development Results

"Accountants and auditors" are my friends, according to Dr. Julius Coles, the President of Africare. Accountants and auditors present at the January ICGFM DC forum were delighted to hear how strong financial management and accountability can improve development results.

Nelson Mandela regards " Africare as one of America's greatest gifts to Africa. Your work, in every corner of our great continent, has sustained our own commitment to building a strong and free Africa."

Dr. Coles described the growth of Africare from 1971 when the organization received a $17,000 grant from Eli Lilly to today, with a $50 to $60 Million annual budget. The success of Africare has come from community involvement - working with communities in Africa to design and deliver programs. Integrated development programs that focus on capacity building and assisting indigenous efforts has been very successful, according to Dr. Coles. Having 93% of the budget spent on programs has also helped.
Dr. Julius Coles Africare
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: development. africare)
Africare is the largest African-American aid organization focused on Africa. The organization was based on the principles of the Peace Corps.

Dr. Coles presented the challenges in development aid in Africa by sharing statistics:

  • 70% of all AIDS deaths occur in Africa - resulting in 7,000 deaths a day
  • AIDS has resulted in over 12 Million orphaned children in Africa
  • 90% of all Malaria deaths occur in Africa - 1 child dies every 30 seconds in Africa
Despite the increase in funding over the years, Africare has more demand than they can fulfill.  

Dr. Coles described the need for strong financial management for non-profit organization and how accounting and audit have improved in Africare. Many donor organizations have zero tolerance for any financial irregularities. Africare has managed to achieve very good ratings from third party organizations for accountability.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Aid for Africa

It is not too late to register for the upcoming DC Forum on January 7th. Dr. Julius Cole will be speaking about the work of Africare, the oldest and largest African-American led organization assisting Africa. 
According to the Africare web site:

Africare's programs address needs in three principal areas:

Complementing and extending our work in those focus areas, Africare supports programs in:

Africare now reaches families and communities in some 25 countries in every major region of Sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal to South Africa and from Chad to Mozambique. Since its founding in 1970, Africare has delivered more than $710 million in assistance — over 2,000 projects — to 36 countries Africa-wide.