Ministère des Finances du Cameroun


Public finance reforms: Tangible progress

Published on : 4/05/21 3:45 AM

The 10th session of the Public Finance Reform Steering Committee was held at the Hilton Hotel in Yaoundé on Friday, August 21, 2020 with the participation of the implementation structures (SMO) of the Comprehensive Public Finance Management Reform Plan (CFMRP 2019-2021) for the period. It was part of the restitution of the quintessence of the level of implementation of the first six months of the Annual Operational Plan 2020 (AOP); This session allowed to evoke the difficulties and the constraints met during the aforementioned period as well as the perspectives of improvement for a promising execution of the reforms in the second quarter 2020.

Chaired by the Minister of Finance, the agenda focused on 4 points, namely

  • MINFI’s address;
  • Status of implementation of recommendations from previous sessions;
  • Status of implementation of the 2020 Annual Operational Plan;
  • Presentation of the Reform of the Accounting System;

In his opening remarks, the Minister of Finance first expressed his pleasure at chairing the session. He praised the efforts made by the technical and financial partners and civil society within the Committee of the Platform for Dialogue on Public Finances. He then expressed his gratitude to the constitutional institutions for their unfailing involvement in the various activities carried out by the government to strengthen budgetary and financial governance.

The Minister of Finance added that the effective implementation of CAS COVID-19 will require compliance with the spirit of the provisions of the 2018 legal framework for public finance, namely: the code of transparency and good governance in the management of public finances and the financial regime of the State and other public entities. Also, the continuation of the signature of the application texts, the development of methodological tools and their effective application remains a priority for all.

However, notwithstanding the uncertain environment of COVID-19, there are notable advances:

  • July 7, 2020: signature by the President of the Republic of the decree on the General Regulations of Public Accounting. This decree sets out the general principles of public accounting applicable to the State, decentralized local authorities and national and local public establishments. In addition, the decree defines the specific rules applicable to the accounting of the State and the public administrative establishments attached to it, and to bring them into line with international standards in this area, particularly in the CEMAC sub-region.
  • July 20, 2020: adoption of Law N°2020/010 governing statistical activity. This innovative law sets out the basic principles for the production of official statistical data, the rules of conduct, the institutional framework for statistical production and the modalities for its coordination. This law is comprehensive because it addresses the normative and institutional aspects of statistical activity and also allows Cameroon to comply with its international commitments.

Still enumerating the successes mentioned, the Minister of Finance recalled previous progress, notably the decrees on the State’s accounting plans, the State’s budgetary nomenclature and the State’s financial operations table signed on September 9, 2019 by the Prime Minister, Head of Government; as well as the laws of July 11, 2018 on the Code of Transparency and Good Governance in the management of public finances and the financial regime of the State and of other public entities

He also mentioned the importance of the Budgetary Orientation Debate, where the legislative power pronounces on the macroeconomic and budgetary framework and decides on the government’s public policy options in the medium term.

In view of the above, the Minister of Finance opened the debate by giving the floor to Mrs. Sophie BOUMSONG, Head of the Budgetary Reform Division and Mr. KONGO ELANGA, Director of Material Accounting at the Ministry of Finance.

With regard to the update on the status of implementation of the recommendations of previous sessions and the presentation of the status of implementation of the 2020 Annual Operational Plan, the DREF reiterated that the overall plan for public finance reforms was drawn up with the aim of federating all the reforms relating to public finance and ensuring the inter- and sub-sectoral coherence of the activities to be carried out by the SMOs, integrating the activities of the PGRGFP into the specific plans for reforms, which are themselves integrated into the state budget. In her remarks, she indicated that the summary of the level of implementation of the POA in 2020 gives the following results.

Total results achievedTotal unachieved resultsTotal results in progressTotal results no infoTotal carried forward to 2021Achievement rate
AXE 1328302412%

Reacting to this, the heads of the various SMOs such as SENAT, CARPA and SPRA advocated the creation of a statistics unit in each ministerial department, the need to explain the basis and importance of the law on MTEFs, but deplored the lack of information on the reform of the specialized pay offices and their lack of implementation. In addition, speaking of the budget orientation debate, the parliamentarians criticized the late distribution of information and documents and wished to have them in time.

Regarding the implementation of the Accounting Reform, Mr. KONGO ELANGA, Director of the aforementioned structure, made a presentation on the current state of the accounting and its impact on the quality of public finances, in particular, on the State’s patrimony; the highlighting of the major aspects of the accounting reform; the presentation of the actions already carried out within the framework of the conduct of this reform and the presentation of the action plan to be rigorously respected during the next 18 months

Following this development, the various SMOs, and particularly the Minister of Finance, wondered about the link between the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Lands and Property. In addition, they wanted to know how to do the patrimonial accounts, the interaction between subject accounting and the PROMBIS application, the non materialization of accounting documents in the field, the lack of personnel in this area and the delimitation of competences at the DNCM.

The DNCM stated that MINFI is responsible for the transfer of accounting assets, the disposal of these assets and their accounting. On the other hand, MINCAF is in charge of the management and maintenance of property, the acquisition of property in the administration, and the State’s policy on property and cadastral matters.

As for the personnel, Mr. KONGO ELANGA gave the history of this profession which was born in 1982; the sector was closed in 2002, reopened a few years later and closed once again in 2008, hence the lack of trained personnel. From these exchanges, the DNCM has requested an application for the accounting-subjects in order to facilitate the production of accounts, the inventory policy, the management of the collection and reporting of accounting information,

At the end of the proceedings, MINFI again congratulated and praised the efforts made by the Public Finance Reform Steering Committee and insisted on the need to continue the reforms through the internalization of accountability stakeholders. With regard to the difficulties encountered, MINFI recommended that the funds allocated to the Reform be carefully monitored

With regard to communication, he insisted on the information to be given but deplored the fact that it is excessively self-centered. It must be open and accessible to all and promote public-private partnership. He also pointed out that reforms often take a pause; to this end, it is important to propose solutions, to question oneself to see if they are sufficiently understood in order to make them sustainable.