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The Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands will benefit from efforts to strengthen the management of their public finances, with the approval by the World Bank’s Board of executive directors of projects in each of the North Pacific nations.
Both countries face limited opportunities to develop competitive local production and export industries. As a result, public administration and social services comprise the bulk of their economies. Ensuring the short and long-term health of government budgets and delivery of public services is critical, particularly with some of the education, health and infrastructure grants provided by the United States under the Compact of Free Association agreements scheduled to end in 2023.
“Ensuring effective management of public finances is critical to maintaining the delivery of quality public services – from health, to education and vital infrastructure,” said Michel Kerf, Country Director for Papua New Guinea and Pacific Islands. “We are pleased to be able to support the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands as they build stronger systems and procedures for better budget design, execution and reporting.”
Under the Project for Strengthening Public Financial Management, the Federated States of Micronesia will use funds to build more consistency across the creation, execution and reporting of national and state budgets. The project will also support the implementation of an integrated system for financial management information and a new revenue management system to strengthen coordination between government agencies about allocation of resources and improving efficiency in tax administration. The projects will also help to better connect the financial systems of the national and four state governments.
Under the Project to Strengthen Budget Execution and Financial Reporting Systems, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, will strengthen the processes, procedures and regulations governing the formulation, execution and financial reporting of budgets. To be rolled out in government offices in Majuro and Ebeye, the project will also design and implement new systems for financial management information, train staff in both finance and IT skills; and support the rollout of the new systems. The project will also focus on procurement reforms and updating poverty and economic data to improve policy planning and analysis.
Both projects reflect the Public Financial Management Roadmaps established by each country, which set out plans to improve governance and the efficiency and effectiveness of financial systems and procedures.
The projects are funded by a US$11 million grant for the Federated States of Micronesia and a US$9 million grant for the Republic of the Marshall Islands, both from the International Development Association, the World Bank’s fund for the most in-need countries. These funds complement previous engagements by the Asian Development Bank, the European Union, and the International Monetary Fund.
SOURCE: WORLD BANK/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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