General Guidelines for the Development of Government Payment Programs

The importance of government payments as a key component of the national payments system has been much discussed in recent years. Yet few reports have been devoted specifically to developing a holistic model for efficient government payments with special attention to the “payment system aspects" of government payments. Understanding these payment system aspects is crucial to understanding government payments and to ensuring that these payments are safe and efficient.

The “General Guidelines for the Development of Government Payment Programs” report aims at filling this gap by presenting a set of comprehensive guidelines that can assist governments and other stakeholders in designing and operating efficient government payment programs.

While intended to have universal applicability, these guidelines are not prescriptive; rather, they provide broad-based guidance on the issues that the World Bank considers to be of high relevance for developing safe, efficient and transparent government payment programs.

This document has been developed by the Payment Systems Development Group (PSDG) of the World Bank’s Financial Infrastructure Service Line, Financial Inclusion Global Practice, in consultation with the International Advisory Group for Government Payments (IAG).

The IAG includes public-sector institutions from various countries with relevant experience in implementing government payment programs. The IAG also includes representation from certain non-government organizations and payment-service providers that are actively involved in developing and implementing various types of government payment solutions in different country environments. Through dialogue and the sharing of various country experiences in implementing such programs, the contributions of IAG members in the drafting process of the general guidelines have been significant, including several specific contributions for the annexes presenting individual country cases.