PREM Notes

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This note series is intended to summarize good practices and key policy findings on poverty reduction and economic management (PREM) topics.

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    Korea's Move to e-Procurement
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2004-07) Cho, Junghun ; Byeon, Hee Seok
    In 1997 the Korean government began reforming its notoriously complicated, nontransparent, corrupt public procurement system, introducing e-procurement to exploit the country's well-developed information and communications infrastructure. Through extensive business process reengineering and information strategy planning, the Public Procurement Service-the agency formerly responsible for buying government goods and services-has been transformed into a one-stop information center. E-procurement has generated numerous benefits, including: Enhanced transparency and public trust-by reducing contacts between officials and suppliers and by sharing information between government agencies and the public. Increased managerial efficiency-by achieving economies of scale in procurement, with an estimated $2.5 billion a year in savings from the $26 million investment. This note analyzes how Korea achieved these outcomes, the lessons of its experience, and the challenges that remain for its e-procurement system.
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    Currency Crises and Government Finances
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2002-05) Burnside, Craig
    Fiscal policy plays a big role in currency crises - before, and after they occur. Thus policymakers should not underestimate the importance of fiscal policy: a) the realization of large contingent liabilities can quickly, and dramatically alter government finances, leading to a currency crisis; b) the effects of a currency crisis on government finances depend on the structure of government revenue, spending, and debt; c) the fiscal policies adopted in response to a crisis, influence economic outcomes, especially inflation, and depreciation. The note reviews the traditional models of currency crises, explained as a consequence of unsustainable fiscal policy, and how debt is accumulated, how currency crisis then develops, and why does fiscal policy matter. Focusing on bank bailouts, it is argued that traditional models of currency crises are applicable to emerging markets, suggesting that deficits after the East Asia financial crises could have been anticipated given the region's deteriorating banking systems, but that economic outcomes largely depend on the mix of financing.