|Title||Training course on the development of GFS in accordance with GFSM 2014|
Staff from the National Accounts or GFS units of the partner National Statistics Institutes, and from other national institutions involved in the production of GFS.
|Timing||2-4 September 2020|
Project on “Macroeconomic statistics: National Accounts and Government Finance Statistics”
Supporting Partner countries in aligning their Government Finance Statistics to 2008 SNA, ESA 2010 and GFSM 2014
Government Finance Statistics are key to ensuring a close monitoring of public finances, transparency and economic stability. In this context, comparability across countries is essential and this comparability can only be achieved through the implementation of international standards, as defined in the Government Finance Statistics Manual, 2014 edition or GFSM 2014.
This new set of standards includes several fundamental changes with respect to the previous version of the manual (GFSM 2001), including the changeover from a cash to an exclusively accrual recording basis for most GFS statements. Most countries around the world, including within the EU, are still struggling to implement these new standards as they represent fundamental changes from both a conceptual and a practical point of view.
In all partner countries, GFS are still calculated on a cash basis. In some cases, GFSM 2001 is still the methodological reference for the production of such statistics. However, all partner countries are aware that the transformation of cash-based figures into accrual figures is required to comply with international standards in this area and, more broadly, to produce national accounts aligned with 2008 SNA and ESA 2010.
In this context, it was agreed to implement a specific STEP project on National Accounts and Government Finance Statistics with the objective, in the area of GFS, of aligning these statistics to 2008 SNA, ESA 2010 and GFSM 2014, and to produce harmonised data on an accrual basis.
This online training course aimed at ensuring knowledge and at fostering adoption of the major features of GFSM 2014 and, more specifically, of the major changes introduced with respect to GFSM 2001. The training allowed the participants to discuss practical challenges in introducing these new methodological standards as well as possible solutions. It also afforded the opportunity to present and discuss possible implementation plans developed in the partner countries, to elaborate on guidelines for the development of such implementation plans where they did not exist, and to assess what further support could be brought in the frame of the STEP Programme in this respect. It relied on the transfer of specific knowledge and know-how by a highly specialised STE, Mr. Louis Bê Duc from Banque de France, and on presentations by representatives of the partner countries about their current situation regarding the production of GFS, the challenges they face and their objectives in this area.
The lively discussions proved that the training was appreciated and useful to all participants. Most importantly, it allowed the participants to elaborate roadmaps towards a full compliance of partner countries’ GFS with GFSM 2014, including the possible content of the technical assistance missions planned in the frame of STEP on this topic. These achievements will constitute essential elements for the development of the cooperation on GFS over the lifetime of the STEP Programme and for the achievement of the expected results within the framework of this specific project.