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PublicationSupreme Audit Institutions’ Use of Information Technology Globally for More Efficient and Effective Audits(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-10-18) World BankSupreme audit institutions (SAIs) recognize the benefits of using technology to improve the quality and impact of their audits. This benefit has further intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic; SAIs with existing technology capacity have continued to perform their role effectively and efficiently. The paper explores how at a global level SAIs are using technology to perform more efficient and more effective audits. It provides a brief overview of how some SAIs are harnessing the possibilities created by advances in technology to develop new, innovative audit methods and procedures. It also seeks to identify the factors inhibiting other SAIs in particular SAIs in developing countries from implementing and using audit methods based on information technology (IT). Against this background, the paper suggests ways in which the World Bank, working with other stakeholders, can facilitate the more extensive and more effective use of IT-based tools and methods by SAIs. The impact of COVID-19 has introduced a new important consideration: namely, how IT has helped some SAIs respond with agility and resilience to the unprecedented and completely unforeseen circumstances created by the pandemic. PublicationSupreme Audit Institutions Independence Index: 2021 Global Synthesis Report(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-07-20) World BankThis report aims to inform and better equip World Bank task teams and development partners to support the strengthening of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) in client countries. It also aims to help focus the ongoing collaboration between the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institution (INTOSAI) and development agencies to address the intractable SAI independence issue. The report also responds to yearnings of several development partners to better understand the degree of SAI independence in countries and regions. PublicationThe Next Wave of Suptech Innovation: Suptech Solutions for Market Conduct Supervision(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-03-01) World BankAround the world, financial sector supervisors are experiencing a profound shift to data-driven supervision enabled by the next wave of technology and data solutions. While technology and data are not new to financial oversight, their specific application to financial consumer protection and market conduct supervision has become more widespread and sophisticated in recent years. Expanding on the World Bank’s 2018 note on supervisory technology, or suptech, this technical note catalogues a range of specific solutions that financial authorities are deploying to help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of market conduct supervision. The note identifies four categories of suptech solutions (regulatory reporting, collection and processing of complaints data, non-traditional market monitoring, document and business analysis) and provides concrete examples of 18 different suptech solutions for market conduct supervision, drawing from the experiences of 14 financial sector authorities worldwide. The note also discusses implementation considerations and enablers of successful suptech adoption commonly experienced across countries. PublicationEnhancing Government Effectiveness and Transparency: The Fight Against Corruption(World Bank, Kuala Lumpur, 2020-09) World BankNews headlines over the last few years have been filled with global scandals involving corruption on an unprecedented scale. They touch virtuallyevery continent, from Asia to Africa, Europe, and the Americas. The scale, magnitude, and sophistication of the operations has increasingly risen to levels that many had not considered possible before. Governments are forever in search of new approaches and tools that can help identify loopholes and entry points for corrupt activities. While the containment of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and its devastating human and economic impacts have more recently been the focus of government actions, it is almost certain that huge amounts of spending in a short time, circumventing the standard operating procedures, will result in new corruption scandals in the post-COVID (coronavirus) years. There are already reports in papers regarding inflated food prices or favored medical contracts to firms from a few countries. In drawing on the past and looking ahead to the future, the time is ripe for the World Bank to take a fresh look at the state of play in tackling corruption and how countries are attempting to address this long-standing scourge on development. PublicationBuilding Effective, Accountable, and Inclusive Institutions in Europe and Central Asia: Lessons from the Region(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06) Arizti, Pedro; Manuilova, Natalia; Sabatino, Carlos; Senderowitsch, Roby; Vila, ErmalCountries around the world are facing the need to build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions. There has never been a more important moment to tackle this agenda, as countries grapple with increasing fragility and migration flows, more complex service delivery requirements, and greater demands for transparency and inclusion, all in a more resource-constrained environment. Moreover, the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic crisis has provided new evidence of the need for effective, accountable, and inclusive government responses. Governments’ capacity to respond to these complex challenges is understandably stretched, but this has not limited the rise of citizens’ expectations. Instead, it has often increased tensions and, in some cases, has affected the trust between governments and their citizens. This publication builds on the World Bank’s vast engagement across ECA and on the 2019 regional governance conference. It consists of six chapters, each corresponding to one of the governance areas around which governments across the world organize their institutional functions. Each chapter contains background and analysis by World Bank specialists, complemented by country case studies authored by regional experts and policymakers. PublicationAnticorruption Initiatives: Reaffirming Commitment to a Development Priority(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-12-20) World Bank GroupCorruption continues to have a disproportionate impact on the poor and most vulnerable, increasing the cost of, and reducing access to, health, education, justice, electricity and other basic services, thereby exacerbating inequality. It reduces private investment as it increases risks for investors, with consequent effects on growth and jobs. It distorts public spending decisions and weakens the quality of public investments as substandard infrastructure gets built and the regulatory systems for quality control and safety are bypassed. It erodes public trust in governments, undermining their legitimacy and posing a threat to peace and stability. This paper draws on these lessons and proposes a new approach, both in terms of what we work on and how we work, focusing on initiatives to be led by the Bank’s EFI vice presidency to reaffirm the Bank’s commitment to anticorruption. The initiatives refresh approaches that are showing results, scale up those that are emerging and show promise, or experiment and innovate where fresh thinking is needed in our support to client countries to help them control corruption. In this note, corruption is seen as both a symptom of underlying governance challenges and a problem in and of itself. For practical purposes, and to keep the focus on corruption, the initiatives do not expound on the many aspects of governance that influence corruption. The paper also does not focus on efforts to control corruption risk in World Bank operations, but rather focus on the support that the EFI Vice Presidency will provide to countries in their efforts to control corruption. PublicationGeorgia Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Performance Assessment Report: City of Batumi(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-10) World Bank GroupThe purpose of this PEFA assessment is to provide an objective analysis of the present performance of the PFM system in the City of Batumi against the PEFA indicators. This PEFA provides an assessment of PFM in the municipality and establishes a PEFA baseline using the 2016 PEFA methodology. The assessment covered expenditures by subnational government budgetary units. Revenues are collected by the Georgia Revenue Services on behalf of the municipality and this was considered not applicable. There are no extra-budgetary units and no local government below the municipality level. The assessment team visited the municipality from June 5 to 9, 2018 (fieldwork for the assessment). The financial years covered for indicators that required assessing over three years are 2015 to 2017. Overall, the results of the PEFA show that public financial management systems in the City of Batumi are strong and improved as the PFM Reform Action Plan has been implemented. The aggregate expenditure side of the budget performs largely according to plan. The Georgian Treasury consolidates cash balances in the treasury single account on a daily basis. A cash flow forecast is prepared annually for the year to come and is updated quarterly on the basis of actual inflows and outflows often due to relatively frequent supplementary budget. Budgetary units are able to plan and commit expenditure for one year in advance on the basis of quarterly ceilings, in accordance with the budgeted appropriations and commitment releases. An overriding feature of PFM in the Georgia both at the Central and Subnational levels of government has been the development and good use of Information Technology in budget preparation, budget execution (accounts, commitment control, and cash management), personnel and payroll, revenue services, and procurement. The application of the IT has been developed in-country based on business processes in each of the subject areas (redefined as necessary) and not on the reconfiguration of business practices to suit software. This adoption of IT solutions combined with the internet as a vehicle for its implementation by competent and trained personnel (with appropriate control) has been fundamental to the development of strengths in PFM. The integration of IT, internet and personnel has resulted in PFM’s positive effectiveness and efficiency. PublicationGeorgia Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Performance Assessment: Municipality Synthesis Report(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-10) World Bank GroupThe purpose of this PEFA assessment synthesis report is to provide an objective analysis of the present performance of the PFM system in Georgia’s municipalities using PEFA indicators. The synthesis report provides a collective assessment of PFM in three municipalities assessed by the World Bank funded by the European Union, plus twelve municipalities assessed with support from GIZ. These assessments used the 2016 PEFA methodology but only the three assessments by the World Bank followed the PEFA CHECK quality assurance process. The field assessments by the World Bank, which covered financial years 2015-2017, were done in May-June 2018 with PEFA CHECK issued by the PEFA Secretariat on October 23, 2018. With regard to the twelve municipalities assessed by GIZ, ten were assessed in 2017 and two in 2018. PublicationGeorgia Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Performance Assessment Report: City of Tbilisi(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-10) World BankThe purpose of this Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessment is to provide an objective analysis of the present performance of the PFM system in the City of Tbilisi against the PEFA indicators. This PEFA provides an update of progress in PFM in the municipality since the last PEFA in 2014 and establishes a new PEFA baseline using the 2016 PEFA methodology. The assessment covered expenditures by subnational government budgetary units. Revenues are collected by the Georgia Revenue Services on behalf of the municipality and this was considered not applicable. There are no extra-budgetary units and no local government below the municipality level. Overall, the results of the PEFA show that public financial management systems in the City of Tbilisi are strong and improved as the PFM Reform Action Plan has been implemented. The aggregate expenditure side of the budget performs largely according to plan. There is an impressive array of information regarding the finances of the municipality. As a result, the budget documents include most of the basic, and much of the supplementary information, required to support a transparent budget process. Information on performance plans and achievements in service delivery outputs and outcomes across the sectors under the municipality is very good. However, a strategic selection process is lacking in managing the public investment program although monitoring and reporting of implementation is sound. Good progress has been made towards a comprehensive medium-term expenditure framework based on a program budgeting for results approach. There is an effective budget calendar although the issuance of ceilings could be made timelier. The legislature has sufficient time to carry out its scrutiny function. PublicationGeorgia Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Performance Assessment Report: Municipality of Martvili(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-10) World BankThe purpose of this PEFA assessment is to provide an objective analysis of the present performance of the PFM system in the Municipality of Martvili against the PEFA indicators. This PEFA establishes a PEFA baseline using the 2016 PEFA methodology. The assessment covers expenditures by subnational government budgetary units. Overall, the results of the PEFA show that public financial management systems in the Municipality of Martvili are strong in terms of budget execution and control as the country’s PFM reform action plan has been implemented.