The Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Center (PFTAC) produced ‘A Public Financial Management Roadmap for Forum Island Countries’ (“The Roadmap”) in 2009 (PFTAC 2010). This document was adopted at the Forum Economic Ministers’ Meeting (FEMM) of the Pacific Island Forum as an agreed approach to Public Financial Management (PFM) reform in Forum Island Countries. The document established the need for regular Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessments and the development of PFM reform plans for Pacific countries based on PEFA assessments and other inputs. Based on international experience, the document concluded that PFM reforms in Pacific countries should, among other things:
i) reflect country priorities;
ii) take account of country constraints, including capacity constraints; and
iii) have strong country ownership and take political dimensions into account.
Five years on from the adoption of the Roadmap, this report examines experiences of PFM reform in two Pacific island countries in order to inform future improvements. Drawing on the messages of the Roadmap we assess PFM reform planning and implementation in case study countries of Kiribati and Tonga over the 2010-2014 period. We assess the extent to which PFM reform planning and implementation in these countries was consistent with the recommendations of the Roadmap. Based on this assessment, we reiterate the relevance of the Roadmap’s messages and present recommendations for improved planning and implementation of Pacific PFM reform in future.
This report does not assess current PFM systems in case study countries. Rather, it provides an analysis of previous experiences with PFM reforms, focusing on the research period 2010-2014. PFM problems identified in this report may have since been resolved.