Vision

The aim is to install much higher standards of management and accountability in the mobilization of all government current and capital resources and effectiveness and efficiency in the use of resources in their application to the operation of the Government’s NPRS and other priority programs. The long term objective is to transform the RGC’s Public Financial Management (PFM) system into a system featuring what are generally accepted as the best international standards.

The PFM reform program is steadfastly built up upon four sequenced and prioritized platforms:

  • (i) A more credible budget;
  • (ii) Effective financial accountability;
  • (iii) The RGC policy agenda becomes fully affordable and prioritized; and
  • (iv) RGC managers become fully accountable for program performance.

The reform program will progress in four stages: Stage One: short term action plans including all necessary activities for achieving Platform One, plus activities with long lead times and necessary for later Platforms; Stage Two and Three: Medium term, planned for towards the end of Stage One, when Platform One objectives are within sight; and Stage Four: Long term while getting to achieving the vision.

In summary, the envisioned public financial management system of Cambodia is a system that fulfils a set of desired characteristics consistent with best practices and standards. The overall system will have sub-systems that relate to operations and monitoring and evaluation.

The RG has prepared a long term strategy which will enable it to reach the vision through a carefully designed series of intermediate step changes in the PFM system. The monitoring and evaluation sub-system will assist in closely monitoring progress made in implementing the strategy.

Strategy

  • The strategy for moving towards this vision set out in the 2004 document reflected three key elements.
  • Firstly, the leadership of the strategy development and implementation process within RGC was firmly established. This importance of both political support and leadership arrangements within the administration were clearly recognised. Attention was paid to coordination arrangements and the assignment of responsibilities within the administration for implementation of the different activities. Furthermore, steps were taken to establish clear, positive and efficient arrangements with the development partners that would support the reform process with both resources and advice.
  • Secondly, attention was paid to the sequencing of reforms. It was recognised that not everything can be done at once, but also that some basic and core activities need to be done before others can work effectively. Sequencing cannot be planned based on the importance of individual technical improvements alone. To guide this sequencing, potential activities were grouped into a series of Platforms with each Platform representing a real and measurable improvement in the performance of the public financial management system, but also being a step to the next Platform. The series of Platforms decided upon at that time are shown in the diagram below:

programstruture

  • Thirdly, it was considered important that the plans to implement each Platform should encompass not just technical and process developments, but also complementary organisational, capacity and motivational developments. It was recognised that without attention to all these different dimensions each

Platform would not be a robust step to the next. Reforms would be shallow and subject to degradation during the reform process unless these aspects of reform
support each other.

It was also decided not to try and produce detailed activity plans for the whole reform programme all at once. Given the long time scales that it was recognised would be required to implement the programme as a whole (probably running up to at least the middle of the next decade) to attempt such planning would be impractical and introduce rigidities into the development process that would not be helpful. Instead, detailed activity planning within the framework of the overall strategy would focus on the first Platform. Furthermore, it was considered important to achieve engagement of staff at all levels in the reform process. This was achieved by combining a ‘top down’ approach in identifying broad activities with the ‘bottom up’ development of specific action plans to implement those activities prepared by the operational departments most involved.

However, it was also recognised that the lead time on some activities necessary under later Platforms would be long. Therefore, some strategic development, preparatory work or piloting would take place with regards to such later Platform activities that could be identified now. Work on Platform 1 plus activities in support of this work for later Platforms would, together, constitute Stage 1 of the reform programme and would be managed and monitored alongside each other.

In addition, efforts were made by Development Partners to co-ordinate their financing and cooperation arrangements efforts around the overall RGC PFMRP. A PFM SWAp arrangement was agreed with RGC supported by coordinated multi-lateral and bilateral financing. This revised strategy for the next stage of the PFMRP is based on a thorough review of progress to date under stage 1 and an assessment of the needs for achievement of Platform 2 objectives as well as preparatory work for later Platforms. The revised strategy represents a refinement of the existing approach based on the lessons learned to date, the current PFM context and emerging trends for future developing PFM.