Fiscal Reform Project Continues to Support Government of Jordan’s Public Financial Management

April 12, 2016

Over the past decade, Jordan has been successful in achieving many of its reform goals in education, health, and economic privatization and liberalization. The government continues to introduce social protection mechanisms and reform subsidies, creating the conditions for public-private partnerships in infrastructure and improving its overall fiscal and budgetary health.

Regional uncertainty, however, especially civil conflict in Syria and Iraq, continue to adversely affect Jordan and its economy. The trade balance in goods and services continues to widen due to more expensive energy imports compensating for the disruption of gas supplies from Egypt. Jordan faces high unemployment and continued pressure on natural resources. Sound budgetary planning policies, efficient public resource management, and growth-enhancing reforms are needed now more than ever to reduce the country’s vulnerability to these challenges and build trust in public institutions.

To help the Government of Jordan meet these challenges, the Fiscal Reform Project released the Public Expenditure Perspectives (PEP) 2015 Report and finalized the rollout of the Government Financial Management Information System (GFMIS).

PEP 2015 is the result of evidence-based analysis by a team of American and Jordanian experts and assesses four key economic sectors: education, health, electricity, and water. It is the product of nearly one year of research and consultation with partners in the Government of Jordan and builds on the previous PEP report produced in 2011. PEP 2015 analyzes how government resources produce the services that the people of Jordan need most, and how those services can be effectively and efficiently delivered. It also takes an in-depth look at key performance indicators tracked by the General Budget Department and makes focused recommendations for improving measures of success.

The GFMIS, as seen in the video above, is a computerized financial and accounting network, linking the Ministry of Finance with the Central Bank, the General Budget Department, the Income and Sales Tax Department, and all government ministries, departments, and regional financial centers. The GFMIS acts as the central hub in this complex network and ensures that all public resources and transactions are properly accounted for, monitored, and controlled in real time.

Prime Minister of Jordan Abdallah Ensour said, “The GFMIS will improve the budget management cycle and enhance the effectiveness of the government. [It] will improve budget planning and execution by providing timely and accurate data for staff and decision makers…and will enhance the credibility of the budget through more comprehensive and transparent information.”

In the coming months, USAID and the Fiscal Reform Project will continue to support the Ministry of Finance as it expands the reach of GFMIS and institutes the recommendations of PEP 2015.

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