CIPFA unveils interactive version of whole system approach

24 Nov 16

CIPFA has launched an updated, interactive version of its whole system approach framework at its international seminar event in Luxembourg today.

The framework provides a holistic analytical framework to support effective public financial management by encouraging public bodies to evaluate their financial management systems as a basis for improvement.

Ball explained that the new system would be interactive: accessed through a web portal that the user will be able to move through, exploring different areas of financial systems and accessing key documents for guidance.

Two of the new opportunities offered by the refreshed framework include the ability to strengthen individual financial processes as well as to identify the combination of interventions that might be taken to enhance performance.

It takes into account of external developments, such as updates to the PEFA framework, CIPFA’s new financial management model, integrated reporting and the International Monetary Fund’s revised fiscal transparency code.

Presenting the new system, Ball also summed up the current global climate, which has seen a globalisation backlash, a potential retreat from free trade, significant tax cooperation and competition, and a number of governments coming close to default.

Even those that typically have good public financial management are seeing bad results in terms of net worth, Ball pointed out. The UK, for example, has seen a decline of net worth close to 50% of GDP in recent years, he noted.

“These factors taken together seem to suggest a not very encouraging future in the next few years for public sector finance,” Ball stated. “And that just means that there are bigger challenges for us.

“The task of improving PFM becomes more important because governments are going to need good financial management more than they have in the past,” Ball predicted.

“We see the whole system approach as one way of helping governments to improve and enhance the quality of their own financial management.”

CIPFA is taking feedback on the updated version of the whole system approach. You can try it out and submit your comments here.  

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