Aug 5 , 2023
As the country walks on a fiscal tightrope, the European Union has pledged a 10 million euros grant to improve the fiscal management of the Ministry of Finance in the next four years. The project aims to increase the Ministry's managerial capacity, budget allocation, procurement procedures and sedimentation of prudent financial management in lower echelons of government. State Minister Semereta Sewasew signed the agreement with the EU delegation at the Ministry's headquarters last week. Transparency, competition and accountability in public procurements, which account for 65pc of the state's expenditure, have been cited as shortcomings in budget administration by a Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) conducted by the IMF and World Bank. The Minister of Finance Ahmed Shide had indicated that fiscal austerity not limited to massive restructuring in the civil service, will commence in the budget year as prudent financial management has been recognised as critical. Payroll audits, follow-up on timeline changes in personnel, along with a meticulous recording of cash balances, debt and guarantees have all been recommended by international organisations.