Publication: Afghanistan : Public Financial Management Performance Assessment

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World Bank
Afghanistan's public financial management (PFM) system achieved significant improvements between June 2005 and December 2007. Among 28 performance indicators, 18 indicators improved, two indicators deteriorated, and eight indicators remained unchanged. Among three indicators of donor practices, two deteriorated and one remained unchanged. In relation to other countries for which Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessments have been conducted, Afghanistan's ratings are better than the average for other low-income countries and in some areas better than the average for middle-income countries. The operating budget is credible as funding from domestic revenues and donors has been stable. However, the gap between the budget and realization remains significant in the development budget expenditures. The comprehensiveness of the budget is generally good, although reporting and especially transparency should be improved. However, fiscal risk oversight of state-owned enterprises and municipalities is practically non-existent and thus problematic. The budget process is based on multi-year fiscal planning and comparatively detailed budgeting at the level of ministries and agencies, but so far has lacked the necessary strategic prioritizations of resources by the cabinet early in the process. Payroll processing is highly decentralized which contributes to timely updates of payroll and reconciliation of personnel and payroll records. Access to a number of provinces by the external auditor and the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) monitoring agent is hampered by security concerns. External audit of donor funding is conducted according to acceptable standards, but the quality of review of the annual budget statement and of regulatory audits needs to be improved. Arrangements are in place for the effective internal audit of treasury and revenue operations of government, but capacity for internal audit in the line ministries is still very weak.
World Bank. 2008. Afghanistan : Public Financial Management Performance Assessment. © Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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