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.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lastest International Journal on Governmental Financial Management Available

The current global economic crisis has brought about a major re-think in macro-economic theory. This re-appraisal could usefully be extended to the practice of private sector accounting and audit. For far too long the private sector has been promoted as the best practice which accountants and auditors in the public sector institutions should follow, or at least aspire to. However, the world recession has highlighted some strange anomalies. For example, in the US, both Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns received unqualified audit reports on 28 January 2008. Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy on 15 September 2008, and, even faster, by 14 March 2008 Bear Stearns found itself in trouble and was sold to JP Morgan Chase before the end of May 2008 with state support to avoid liquidation... In the UK, Northern Rock received an unqualified audit report on 27 February 2007, but by September of that year it had queues of customers outside its branches and was eventually nationalised on 22 February 2008 (thanks to Stewart Smyth for this information).

That is not to say that public sector accounting and audit is perfect and this issue continues the debate over a variety of issues. The first two contributions cover audit. In the first, Patrizio Monfardini and Patrick von Maravic consider developments in the field of external audit of local government in Europe. Thomas Asare then considers the role of internal audit in promoting good governance and performance improvement mainly based on the experience of African governments.

James Chan provides an outline of the differences between government accounting and business accounting. In doing so he considers three important questions. What is so appealing about business accounting that it is urged upon government? How is government viewed differently by public budgeting specialists? When these two groups hold conflicting views on government financial presentation, how should those conflicts be resolved?

In the next contribution, Norvald Monsen continues his series of articles on cameral accounting. This was specifically developed for public sector entities in German speaking European countries. Enterprise Cameralistics is the version of cameral accounting which was developed for government owned enterprises and produces similar information to that provide by private sector financial statements.

The final two papers in this issue consider wider issues of public sector financial management. K.M. Mahiuddin reviews the recent history and workings of public accounts committees in Bangladesh and their role in promoting financial accountability. Finally, Joseph K. Achua considers the imperatives of prudent management of oil resources in Nigeria. Despite the apparent lack of political will-power to effect a change, Joseph believes that recent events suggest that civil society, and specifically the organised working class, can ensure that the necessary reforms are achieved.

We have now established an editorial board for the Journal. This should help to raise the status of the journal, especially amongst academics, and should ensure we have access to a wider pool of expertise to review potential contributions. We would however still like to hear from other readers who would like to play a more active role with the Journal either as writers or potential editors. Further details are provided at the end of this issue.

As always, we invite your comments on these papers and the topics covered in any prior issues of the Journal – these are available from the ICGFM website at www.icgfm.org

Please contact the editor - andywynne@lineone.net - if you would like to contribute an article, or discuss any issue which you believe we should consider. Alternatively, feel free to contact us by telephone, facsimile, or email - icgfm@icgfm.org

Andy Wynne Doug Hadden Jim Ebbitt

Editor Vice President Communications President

2009-01 International Journal Final 2009-01 International Journal Final icgfmconference 2009 International Journal

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