Published on : 28/02/23 8:30 AM
The Cameroonian government is truly committed to aligning its National Public Financial Management System with international standards. Since 2007, the country has subscribed to various international assessments, including the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) programme. The third PEFA evaluation currently underway in our country is an opportunity to adjust in terms of PFM and to complete the reforms contained in the framework of the Global Public Finance Reform Plan. For Cameroon, it is therefore a proactive and forward-looking approach that aims to optimise public finance management.
To better understand what it is about, it is necessary to first indicate that the PEFA is a tool for evaluating Public Finance Management (PFM). It provides a detailed, systematic and factual analysis of PFM performance over a given period. In addition, PEFA provides a means of assessing the extent to which PFM systems, processes and institutions contribute to the achievement of desirable budgetary outcomes: overall budgetary discipline, strategic allocation of resources and efficiency of service delivery. Seven (07) partners, including the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and others, established the PEFA Programme.
The Republic of Cameroon submitted itself in 2007 and in 2017, with the support of Technical and Financial Partners (TFPs) to this PEFA logic. The first (2007) helped to define the necessary foundations for public finance reforms in Cameroon, notably through programme-based budgeting (since 2013), and the second (2017) should deepen the reform process, particularly in relation to the implementation of the public finance legal framework adopted in 2018, which internalises the harmonised public finance management framework of the CEMAC in Cameroon.
Since then, several progresses have been recorded in the field of Public Finance Reforms. Without being exhaustive, we can mention the adoption of a State budgetary calendar clearly specifying the main stages of the annual process of preparing the Budget in Cameroon; the holding of the annual Budgetary Orientation Debate (DOB) between the Government and Parliament, as well as the publication calendar of Public Finance statistics; the adoption of a new code of public contracts; the establishment of asset accounting on an accrual basis; the introduction of transparency in the remuneration, allowances and benefits of the directors of public enterprises and establishments; the edition and publication of the citizen budget; the adoption of the law governing statistical activity in Cameroon and its implementing decrees, which clearly indicate the obligation of relevance and impartiality in statistical work, as well as the right of access of all to statistical information; the involvement of Civil Society in the main stages of the budget preparation process as well as in the dissemination of budgetary information; the regular production of State Budget execution reports; the development of Internal Control, particularly the Internal Budgetary and Accounting Control…
The results recorded over the last five (5) years are therefore partly based on the recommendations of the last PEFA evaluation. The operational and institutional framework for the implementation of this series of reforms is the Global Plan for Public Finance Management Reforms. The most recent and ongoing Plan was adopted in 2018 for the three-year period 2019-2021. This Comprehensive Plan, which is in its final year of implementation, has been updated for the period 2021-2023 following the COVID19 crisis in the first quarter of 2020.
In order to maintain the good practices in the area of public finance reforms initiated nearly two decades ago and to optimise the conduct of the present evaluation in our country, it would seem wise to mobilise all stakeholders in public finance management, who provide data for the collection of information and collaboration with the evaluation teams for results in line with the situation of the public finance management system in our country.