– 2015 PEFA Testing Version Showcased –
In March 2015, CARTAC presented a workshop on Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) Assessment Workshop: THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
The workshop covered the history and overview of PEFA, the upgrades in dimensions/indicators being implemented late 2015, and the 2015 indicators. The workshop was attended by thirty three officials from sixteen CARTAC member countries. The Director of the PEFA Secretariat, Mr. Lewis Hawke attended and stated following the workshop: “CARTAC showed impressive leadership on the 2015 PEFA by conducting the first comprehensive training anywhere in the world covering the upgraded Framework.”
The agenda included background on the PEFA process, a comparison between the 2015 PEFA and the previous methodology, a review of each PEFA scoring indicator and dimension where relevant and the final report documentation.
The CARTAC led presentations on the PEFA indicators and dimensions included extensive discussion from audience members on the legal and political issues relevant to individual countries as well as regional issues common to all CARTAC countries. Case study exercises provided further opportunities for countries to reflect on their existing practices and mechanisms for improvement. For example, the upgraded PEFA framework now assesses countries credible fiscal strategy. CARTAC has been working with member countries on developing a medium term macro economic and fiscal outlook statement to overarch the budget process, which was the subject of some discussion amongst member countries as they begin implementation during their upcoming budget processes.
An emerging practice in the Caribbean includes country officials conducting a PEFA self-assessment, prior to a formal PEFA assessment that may be led by a donor organization. The workshop provided the necessary training to undertake these assessments, providing country officials an opportunity to identify reporting and documentation needed for the formal assessment, while also providing much needed validation of their PFM reform program. The training also reinforced the requirement for countries to own and participate more actively in the formal PEFA assessment. The PEFA framework is designed to assist countries with their PFM reform agenda, and should not be seen as a way to put countries under external scrutiny, a point that was stressed throughout the workshop.
During the workshop, those countries with a PEFA planned to be conducted in 2015 indicated their clear desire to utilize the 2015 PEFA testing version, providing a strong endorsement of the revised version.
CARTAC PFM advice has been and will remain, consistent with the PEFA assessment framework. The Topical Log Frame, CARTAC PFMs internal planning and monitoring document, was already strongly aligned with the PEFA Framework and this will be updated to take into account the PEFA 2015 testing version.
CARTAC will continue to monitor the rollout of the revised PEFA framework and provide opportunities that will enable member countries to implement better practices that are appropriate and workable for each member country.
In closing, Mr Hawke offered “The energetic discussion on technical and operational aspects during the workshop was constructive and practical. The comments and issues raised will be used to strengthen PEFA guidance and feed into further refinement of the Framework. The PEFA Secretariat is encouraged by such hands-on feedback from experienced practitioners.”
The workshop presentations on the topics covered are provided below.
- Presentation on the Upgrade of the PEFA Methodology, Lewis Hawke, PEFA Secretariat
- Presentation on the Overview of the PEFA Initiative
- Presentation on the PEFA 2015 Indicators
Matthew Smith / Celeste Kubasta
30 March 2015