WB gives $100m to boost public service delivery

The World Bank will provide Bangladesh with a $100 million fund to help improve public service delivery through an effective, efficient and transparent public financial management system.

The Strengthening Public Financial Management (PFM) programme will improve fiscal forecasting and public budget preparation and execution and enhance financial reporting and transparency in education and health ministries and finance and local government divisions.

Having improved its PFM systems with prudent fiscal management in the past two decades, Bangladesh still has a few bottlenecks in public resource allocation, availability and use for social service delivery, the WB said.

The programme will help Bangladesh use its own systems to address these bottlenecks. It will help strengthen the capacity of budget management committees in the line ministries, including the timely release of budgetary allocations, it said.

“It would reduce the time in releasing funds from departments to frontline service delivery units by more than half.”  The programme will also help improve fiscal planning, pension and debt management and state-owned enterprises, for example, by supporting modernising payment processes including electronic fund transfers for pension processing and payment, it said.

Monowar Ahmed, secretary to Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Dandan Chen, acting country director of the WB, signed the financing agreement at the ERD office in the capital’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar yesterday.

The programme will support the government’s PFM action plan 2016-2021, the multilateral lender said in a statement.

“The government of Bangladesh is committed to further strengthen the public financial management system and ensure transparency and accountability,” said Ahmed.

“Bangladesh is a pioneer in having a PFM with built-in disintegration ability in terms of climate, gender, poverty and other development priorities,” he said.

He believes such PFM sensitiveness ultimately ensures that citizens receive social services effectively and on time.

“An efficient public financial management system is essential for sound macroeconomic management,” said Chen. “The programme will build on the successes of the government’s ongoing efforts to help public agencies strengthen oversight and improve availability of public resources for effective and efficient public service delivery,” he added.




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