By: Jim Wright
Evans recently took part in, and supported, the 32nd Annual International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management (ICGFM) Training Conference in Miami, Florida. The theme of the conference was “Creating a Citizen and Business Enabling Environment.”
The event was well attended with nearly 200 participants from 28 countries around the globe with representatives from Ministries of Finance, international donor organizations, private industry, non-profits and academia. I was interviewed by Public Finance International after this year’s Spring conference in Miami. The article covered my impressions on current challenges and opportunities related to building PFM capacity and improving outcomes related to public financial management reforms.
The article quotes me as saying that countries “…lack the basic building blocks for economic reforms.” The intent behind this statement was not to reflect that countries lack the potential to support complex PFM reforms – one need only look at the numerous successes in every continent where emerging economies or developing countries have successfully adopted cash basis or accrual basis international public-sector accounting standards (IPSAS), medium-term expenditure frameworks, or successfully implemented integrated financial management information systems. Rather, the intent was to indicate that often times the scope, scale and technical nature and ambition of PFM reforms in the developing world outstrips the capacity of individuals who must maintain and sustain these solutions. This is why the mission of ICGFM is more important than ever.
The International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management’s (ICGFM) mission is to build public financial management (PFM) capacity around the world by sharing best practices and delivering trainings on standards and emerging trends in the field of PFM. One way that ICGFM supports delegations and members from around the world is to outline the critical elements for structuring critical PFM reform strategies that can lead to greater fiscal sustainability. Evans Incorporated has been a strong supporter of ICGFM and its mission over the years. This support includes encouraging staff to serve on the ICGFM Board of Directors and Executive Steering Committee in a number of roles. Evans has also led numerous trainings at ICGFM conferences at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC, and Miami on the vital role of organizational change management in driving a fuller realization of intended benefits from complex PFM reforms.
I currently have the honor of serving in my second and final year as President of ICGFM. Over the years I have grown more passionate about the important work that ICGFM is leading. The need to build capacity in public accounting, auditing, budgeting, procurement and tax administration remains an imperative. PFM reforms in the developing world serve as a catalyst for economic growth, fighting corruption, building trust in government around the use of public resources, and supporting stable democracies.
Much work remains to be done to continue to build PFM capacity. With the support from organizations like Evans, ICGFM continues to explore avenues to share best practices in PFM and to reach as broad an audience as possible. Evans has been and remains a key contributor to this effort and the ICGFM mission. We also continue to benefit from best practices we have learned through our role with ICGFM, that we can in turn share and apply in support of our U.S. Government and international clients.