2022 Global Report on Public Financial Management

Executive summary

The Global Report presents trends in public financial management (PFM) using Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) data. The report, which is only available online, contains data visualizations accompanied by short analyses and country examples that highlight key trends in PFM across seven key areas of the budget cycle. The analysis presented in this current publication is based on the data from 607 national and subnational PEFA assessments published between 2005 and 2021. Considering the significant challenges that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is creating for PFM performance, the 2022 publication of the Global Report includes a featured overview of crisis budgeting tools and trends. It also presents three case studies that demonstrate how PEFA assessment findings can be used to give insights into the readiness of PFM systems to respond to crises: Colombia, Mongolia, and Seychelles. Finally, the report presents ideas on how the data analysis and findings could influence future research on PFM. The previous 2020 Global Report can be accessed here.

Key messages
  • Globally, PFM systems struggle where it matters most for efficient service delivery: budget execution. This undermines the potential benefits of stronger performance at the budget preparation stage.
  • Public access to fiscal information, fiscal risk reporting, public investment and public asset management, and expenditure arrears management are emerging as the weakest areas of PFM.
  • The budget preparation process, predictability of in-year resource allocation, internal controls on non-salary expenditure, and debt management continue to be the highest-scoring areas of PFM.
  • Existing paradoxes warrant more research on interactions between various parameters of PFM. For example, countries score highly on debt management against a background of weak public investment management and ballooning public debt globally.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic revealed that many PFM systems were not sufficiently resilient, which contributed to the widespread adoption of crisis budgeting measures.
  • During a crisis, PFM systems must find the appropriate balance between flexibility and accountability.
  • PEFA reports provide a valuable basis for conducting broad assessments of the readiness of countries’ PFM systems to respond to crises.

Learn about the PEFA program, global trends in public financial management (PFM), and ideas for future research.

The Global Report on Public Financial Management presents trends in public financial management (PFM) using PEFA data. The report—which is only available online—contains data visualizations accompanied by short analyses and country examples.
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