1.3. The PEFA performance indicators

PEFA includes 31 performance indicators across the broad array of PFM activities performed by governments. The indicators are grouped under the seven pillars described in section 1.2:

I. Budget reliability

II. Transparency of public finances

III. Management of assets and liabilities

IV. Policy-based fiscal strategy and budgeting

V. Predictability and control in budget execution

VI. Accounting and reporting

VII. External scrutiny and audit

Each pillar comprises a group of indicators that capture the performance of the key systems, processes, and institutions of government. Each indicator in turn includes one or more performance dimensions. A complete listing of the individual indicators and their constituent performance dimensions is provided in section 2.4.

Each dimension of the indicators measures performance against a four-point ordinal scale from A to D. Calibration of dimensions is based on the presence of important attributes relevant to different standards of performance.

The highest score is warranted for an individual dimension if the core PFM element meets an internationally recognized standard of good performance. Dimension-specific scores are aggregated to reach an overall score for each indicator using an appropriate method based on the degree of linkage between the individual dimensions.

Part 2 includes further information on the calibration and the scoring methodology with guidance for each of the indicators.

1.4. The PEFA report

The objective of the PEFA report is to provide an evidence-based assessment of PFM performance based on the indicator analysis and other crucial information in a concise and standardized manner. Information provided by the PEFA report should contribute to dialogue on systems reform.

The PEFA report includes the following:

  • An executive summary presenting a brief overview of the main findings on systems performance and their implications for the government’s ability to deliver the intended fiscal and budgetary outcomes.
  •  An introduction explaining the context, purpose, and process of preparing the report, specifying the institutional coverage.
  •  An overview of relevant country-related information that provides the context underpinning the indicator results and the overall PFM performance. This section includes a brief review of the country’s economic situation and describes the public sector structure, the budgetary outcomes as measured by other analyses, and the legal and institutional PFM framework.
  • An assessment of performance in terms of the seven pillars of the PFM system. This section contains the analysis and measurement of results in terms of the 31 indicators of PFM performance.
  •  Conclusions of the crosscutting analysis using information throughout the report to provide an integrated assessment of the country’s PFM system. This section assesses the likely impact of PFM strengths and weaknesses on the three main fiscal and budgetary outcomes: aggregate fiscal discipline, strategic allocation of resources, and efficient service delivery.
  •  An overview of government initiatives to improve PFM performance. This section summarizes the overall approach to PFM reform, including the recent and ongoing actions taken by government. It assesses the institutional factors that are likely to impact the planning of reform and its implementation in the future.

Further guidance on preparing the PEFA report, including the PEFA report template, is presented in Part 3 of the PEFA 2016 Framework document and Volume III of the PEFA Handbook.



1. PEFA Overview