WASHINGTON, June 7, 2018— The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a $12 million financial package to further strengthen Maldives’ public sector financial management systems. Building on the existing Public Financial Management Systems Strengthening Project, the additional financing will help improve planning and budgeting, debt and cash management, financial reporting, procurement, and State‐Owned Enterprise monitoring and oversight.
Maldives’ Ministry of Finance and Treasury has made progress in reducing the fiscal deficit from 10.6 percent of GDP in 2016 to 2.5 percent in 2017 and improved its revenue collection and shifted from recurrent to capital expenditure to support public investments. The Ministry has also brought more transparency to its budget and financial information through an integrated financial management information system. Further to that, the Auditor General has taken steps to disclose audit reports on public debt and guarantees.
“Financial transparency and accountability are key factors to improve public service efficiency and effectiveness,” said Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank County Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives, commending the Government of Maldives for its commitment to macroeconomic and fiscal reforms.
The expected results of the additional financing include: stronger preparation and prioritization of high impact and affordable public investments, optimized cost and risks of public debt, and improved public procurement. The modernization of these core public financial management functions aims to ultimately improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public services.
“Greater citizens engagement is a defining factor of this initiative, which includes greater disclosure of budget information and financial accounts as well as participatory audits,” said Fabian Seiderer, World Bank Lead Public Sector Specialist and Task Team Leader of the project.
The project will be funded by an International Development Association (IDA) grant and credit and implemented over the period of four years.