Publication: Democratic Republic of Congo : Public Expenditure Review

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World Bank
This public expenditure review (PER) is an important exercise for Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), because the new government is under a tremendous pressure from the population to show that it can provide a better life. The perception and anecdotal evidence that the wealth in DRC is not shared equitably among the population was a leading cause of the recent war on the DRC territory. A lack of action by the government to demonstrate its commitment to move in the right direction can translate into a renewed armed conflict. Without such a demonstration of commitment, international development partners are wary of granting aid to the country, which implies stagnating investment activities, and possible debt crises. The PER strongly advocates to break the cycle of apathy among line ministries of presenting an unrealistic wish-list of a budget proposal, receiving a budget allocation that has little to do with the proposal, enduring an erratic execution of even the diminished allocation, and not reporting back to the financial ministries of how exactly the public funds were used. Their experience of passing decades not receiving meaningful allocations of resources is an understandable reason for such apathy, but it is not an excuse. It is each line ministry's responsibility to present a credible budget based on its sector strategy, and report how the funds were used, so that the intended recipients of public goods and services are served. Development partners can assist where skills were lost during the long neglect. Finally, it is useful to take stock of the progress in the area of public financial management made under the transitional government, and for all the stakeholders to agree on (or at least discuss) the way forward. A functional public financial management system is a fundamental and important asset for any government, and particularly those hoping to attract foreign resources. Indeed, it is recommended that this exercise be undertaken periodically, every two years or so.
World Bank. 2008. Democratic Republic of Congo : Public Expenditure Review. © Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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