Finance Minister calls on a whole of government approach to implementing public financial management reforms

Minister of Finance Crossley Tatui is determined that a whole of government approach is needed to successfully pursue the public financial management reforms as recommended by PEFA review report.

“The PEFA review highly recommends the public financial management reforms for our government, for our country. There are seven key pillars of good practices to follow, in line with what the World Bank, the Asian development bank and the rest of the world are doing”.

The PEFA review was conducted last year, which assessed the status of the government’s public financial management.

The review recommended some key areas to be addressed such as budget reliability and ensuring accurate information is provided in the budget documents. There is also the matter of accountability which according to the minister has been lacking for some time. There is also a need to strengthen the government’s investment strategies among other recommendations.

Minister Tatui told BCN news that it is critical that the government follow what is required by the constitution in terms of the management of its resources for the benefit of the people and the country as a whole.

The minister told BCN news yesterday that Niue seems to be way behind but the tasks ahead are not insurmountable and that he feels that these reforms are very important.

“I feel this is a very important exercise for the whole of the country, to be able to understand and participate in the process going forward”.

Minister Tatui says that the government has already started with the reforms with the employment of some key staff such as the internal auditor, the appointment of the senior accountant at Treasury.

The government is also in the process of recruiting a revenue collections manager, but the minister says that the exercise of public financial management reforms is not the sole responsibility of Treasury, Finance and Planning.

Through Treasury Finance and Planning, they had already developed key policies such as the fraud policy, the internal audit policy, the State-owned Enterprise (SOE) policy and are currently working on the cash management policy.

Minister Tatui says that this exercise demands a whole of government approach to meeting the recommendations for these reforms, saying that it should not be the sole responsibility of the Treasury department.

He is calling on all levels of government to be involved and participate in the reform processes from the legislature, Cabinet and the whole of the public service.

The reform package will also include legal reforms and will require changes to current treasury regulations to comply with these international standards.

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