The World Bank released its 2013 Public Expenditures and Financial Accountability (PEFA) Assessment for Belarus this week.
The report said the country improved access to public financial records and improved its transparency in terms of taxpayer obligations. It also maintained its financial discipline during a tumultuous macroeconomic climate between 2010 and 2012. The economic downturn decreased the reliability of revenue and expenditure forecasts, leading to significant deviations in budgets.
“The assessment highlights the strengths of the current Belarusian public finance system and indicates areas where improvements would be useful, including policy-based budgeting...inter-governmental fiscal relations, public sector accounting standards, procurement, internal financial controls and audits, and external oversight. This is potentially a huge and long-term reform agenda. We hope our analysis helps the government in further work on identification of priority actions for PFM reform strategy,” Senior Public Sector Specialist and PEFA Task Team leader Elena Nikolina said.
Among the countries other weakness are a need for better budget transparency and oversight of aggregate fiscal risks.