The Malawi Government has sought help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Public Finance Management (PFM) reform priorities and advice on its implementation.
A four-member technical assistance mission from the global lender’s headquarters in Washington DC led by Abdul Khan from the IMF’s fiscal affairs department, which was at the centre of helping government in formulating its PFM reform strategy on invitation from Malawi authorities, left the country on Monday.
The other members of the group included Suzanne Flynn also from the fiscal affairs department, Guy Anderson and Amitabh Tripathi from the African Regional Technical Assistance Centre (Afritac) East Centre in Tanzania.
IMF resident representative Geoffrey Oestreicher told Business News in Lilongwe Tuesday that the design and implementation of such a strategy would be followed closely by the donor community.
“Success in this regard would clearly weigh heavily in subsequent decisions on whether they would resume disbursements of budget support,” he said.
Government is currently reeling from a severe shortfall of resources in the national budget due to the freezing of budget support because of Cashgate, the looting of public funds at Capital Hill.
Oestreicher said during the two-week mission, the team assisted authorities in identifying key measures to safeguard government fiscal systems, including through improved accountability and transparency.
“Under these circumstances, budget aid resumption would be welcomed.
However, as reiterated many times by the authorities, the real gain for Malawi would be the enhanced control over public finances that such reforms would bring,” he said.
Minister of Finance spokesperson Nations Msowoya said yesterday the visiting IMF team assisted government in various internal controls, auditing, both internal and external budgeting and accountability.
Msowoya said the assistance by IMF will compliment government’s comprehensive action plan on public finance management.