WASHINGTON, November 27, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The World Bank Board of Directors today approved an IDA* credit of $US12 million to support the Government of Sierra Leone’s plans to improve budget planning, accountability, and oversight of government finances.
The funds will support Sierra Leone’s Public Financial Management Improvement and Consolidation (PFMIC) Project, designed to implement the core of the government’s Public Financial Management (PFM) reform strategy. The project is a follow on to the current Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project that will close on March 31, 2014.
“Improved public financial management is a prerequisite for enhanced efficiency in allocation of public resources, fiscal discipline, and better service delivery.The project will usher in benefits to Sierra Leone both at the Center and at the Councils in the areas of enhancing budget planning and credibility, improved financial control, accountability and oversight in public resources,” says the World Bank Country Manager for Sierra Leone Francis Ato Brown.
In addition to IDA funds, the US$28.50 million PFMIC project is co-financed by a Multi-Donor Trust Fund (for US$13.00 million), with contributions from the UK Department for International Development (US$11.19 million), the EU (US$1.81 million), and the African Development Bank (US$3.50 million).
The project includes five components: the first will enhance the government’s budget planning process with technical assistance activities such as developing the capacity to forecast mineral resource revenues and to take stock of borrowing for public goods.
Another component aims at improving financial control in the Government by building accountability systems and practices, and enhancing independent and public oversight in the management and use of central public finances. The third component focuses on strengthening revenue policy and the oversight of revenue collection, and integrating revenue systems within the overall PFM system.
Today’s funds also support actions to improve the financial management systems in local councils, and to strengthen the accountability and oversight institutions as a way to enhance service delivery efficiency and effectiveness. A final component will support management of the overall project.
“This second generation of PFM reforms should provide Sierra Leone with stronger financial management systems and practices, covering the entire spectrum of the public financial management cycle, and thus contribute to improved accountability and transparency. The World Bank looks forward to working with the government of Sierra Leone counterparts, during project implementation, to achieving the salient objectives of this important reform operation,” says World Bank Lead Financial Management Specialist and Task Team Leader Ismaila B Ceesay.
*The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing zero-interest loans and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 82 poorest countries, 40 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $16 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.
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