Jordan—Fiscal Reform Project II and Bridge Activity (FRP II, FRP Bridge)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2009-2017

Region: Middle East and North Africa

Country: Jordan

Solutions: Governance

By 2009, years of organic and poorly planned growth in the Kingdom of Jordan had produced a large and unwieldy government bureaucracy accounting for 13 percent of the national workforce. Institutions had confusing and overlapping mandates. Public spending was rising on services that did not necessarily fall under the mandate of the public sector. At the same time, citizens struggled to find the appropriate government agencies to address their everyday needs.

Working under the U.S. Agency for International Development, DAI collaborated with a host of Jordan’s government institutions—including the Ministry of Finance, General Budget Department, line ministries, tax and customs administrations, and the prime minister’s office—to achieve fiscal reform. Building on the work of our FRP II (2009–2014) project, FRP Bridge applied a “whole-of-government” approach to foster innovative, responsive, and efficient government, whether through better provision of health care services, better targeted cash assistance to low-income populations, or simply smarter spending. Collectively, these improvements enhanced government effectiveness, improved the business environment, and created the conditions necessary to attract new investments, create jobs, spur economic growth, and improve Jordanians’ standard of living.

Sample Activities

  • Trained government staff, with a strong emphasis on women employees, to more efficiently and effectively carry out their core functions, on topics ranging from audit techniques and use of a medium-term debt strategy tool to customs valuation.

  • Improved compliance and collections functions of the Income and Sales Tax Department, identifying as many as 65,000 previously unregistered individuals who have now been assigned taxpayer identification numbers.

  • Developed a performance audit function in the Audit Bureau to hold departments responsible for achieving targets, raising performance, and improving effectiveness.

  • Assisted the government to achieve sustained savings in budget resources by improving public investment efficiency and contributing to feasibility studies and cost-benefit analyses for capital and mega projects.

Select Results (FRP II and FRP Bridge)

  • Rolled out the government-wide financial management system to six pilot agencies, covering nearly half of the country’s budget—a watershed step toward more transparent, consistent, and real-time budget preparation and execution processes across all spending agencies.

  • Collaborated with the Income and Sales Tax Department to improve IT systems, customer service, and taxpayer databases; contributing to a 50 percent increase in tax revenues collected since 2010.

  • Partnered with the General Budget Department to develop a public expenditures roadmap for budgetary planning in health, education, energy, and water, as well as to introduce Jordan’s first gender-responsive participatory budgeting manual.

  • Supported opening of an additional Single Window border center, for a total of eight Single Windows around the country, covering 80 percent of all imports and integrating the border operations of five government agencies.

  • Submitted recommendations to the Council of Ministers, which approved the merger, elimination, or restructuring of 22 autonomous public institutions—a significant step toward more efficient and results-oriented government.

  • Achieved ISO certification for Jordan Customs and established Jordan as a World Customs Organization Regional Training Center.

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