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Government reveals new budget reform strategy

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
Speakers at the Annual Review Meeting of the Public Financial Management Reform Programme. Facebook

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday announced the government’s new strategy for budget reform aimed at enhancing the sound management of public funds.

Dubbed ‘Budget system reform programme for 2018-2025’, the new blueprint for the country’s budgetary policy was presented to the public during the annual meeting of the public financial management reform programme held last Friday at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra.

“The new strategy for budget reform aims to enhance the effectiveness of multi-year budgeting and the sound management of public funds,” Mr Hun Sen said.

Aun Pornmoniroth, the Minister of Economy and Finance, said with the new strategy Cambodia enters the third stage of a four-phase system of budget reform that got underway in 2004.

After the successful implementation of stages one and two (budget credibility and financial accountability), the programme has now reached phase three, which aims to strengthen the link between budgetary strategy and actual policy, Mr Pornmoniroth explained.

The last stage will focus on performance accountability, aiming to establish performance-based budgeting by 2025.

“In the last few years, the public fund management reform programme has evolved faster and faster,” Mr Pornmoniroth said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said that since the launch of the budget reform programme 14 years ago, the government has made tremendous advancements, including achieving macroeconomic stability, building trust on the national budget and implementing financial information management systems (FIMS), a reform initiative designed to improve the governance and transparency of national budget management.

Launched in 2004 by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and developed with the help of the World Bank, FMIS is a tool for automating the government’s current manual public financial management processes. The project aims to create a fully integrated system covering budget formulation, budget implementation, accounting, reporting, monitoring and auditing.

“All ministries and government institutions must monitor and implement regularly the public financial management reform programme. They must strengthen their leadership, structure and human capital to aid the implementation of the reform,” he said.

“I urge the leaders of all ministries and governmental institutions to work hard and responsibly on this task.”

In 2017, FMIS was applied to 10 government ministries after a successful implementation of the scheme at the National Treasury Department.

This year, it will be extended to 25 new provincial treasury departments, as well as ten additional ministries.

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