At the CDCF meeting in December, the Government and development partners agreed that it was essential to achieve better integration of strategic planning, public financial management and aid management processes. Reforms have been underway for several years now in all three areas (namely, the National Strategic Development Plan, the PFM Reform Program, and the alignment and harmonization agenda). The CDCF discussed how these reforms are now at a point where significant further progress in any of these areas requires joining it up with the others.
This year, there is both a specific need and a specific opportunity to advance the integration agenda as an issue of urgent priority. Better integration is particularly critical in the context of the current global crisis and its impact on Cambodia, when it is essential that all available resources are allocated and managed with maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Meanwhile, the extension of the National Strategic Development Plan for the period 2009 to 2013 provides a specific opportunity to focus attention on practical steps towards integration, and to relate this to the achievement of national development goals.
We welcome progress made over the last nine months in establishing an inter-Ministerial structure led by MoP to bring together the four central agencies - MEF, MOP, SNEC and CRDB/CDC - to work on integration. We would encourage the Government to accelerate the finalization of these arrangements, so that this group can meet and begin to address these issues. We would also encourage the Government to approach the issue by making full use of already existing analysis and workplans.
In particular, under stage two of the Public Financial Reform Program specific actions have been designed to make the budget more effective as an instrument of public policy. In particular the MEF has: i) produced an overall MTFF and MTEF 20010-12 which provides the overall sector allocations of expenditure an ii) is working with Line Ministries on the development of Budget strategic Plans. These will need to be coordinated, under the designated leadership of the MoP, with the ongoing NSDP and aid coordination agendas. The development partners are ready and eager to provide coordinated support a Government-led agenda for integration.
Questions to ask, if needed:
When will the Task Force for Managing the Process of Harmonising of Planning, Public Investment Expenditure, and Cooperation Financing meet? Can the Government provide DPs with a sense of the workplan of this Task Force and how they can best support it?
How will existing commitments and activities relating to integration, encompassed in stage two of the PFM reform program, be linked to the work of the Task Force?