Modernisation of the Ministry of Finance

The Ministry of Finance and Planning is a critical entity in the government Economic Reform Pprogramme (ERP). It has the overall responsibility for developing the Government’s economic policy framework, collecting and allocating public revenues and playing an important role in the socio-economic development of the country in creating a society in which each citizen has every prospect of a better quality of life. The Ministry is considered as a critical input to the achievement and maintenance of fiscal sustainability in the medium to long term. If the Ministry is to deliver on its mandate it must be modernised and provided with the tools necessary.  In December 2013, MOFP completed a comprehensive Strategic Review of its organization. The review identified a number of important deficiencies that reduce the MOFP’s capacity to promote growth and development. These deficiencies include: (i) a highly centralized decision making structure. The Financial Secretary has 22 direct functions reporting to him. This span of control is too wide for effective management contributing to bottlenecks in decision making and implementation policies; (ii) fragmentation of core policy formulation, implementation, and monitoring functions across divisions, spurred by a culture of silo thinking and exacerbated by the lack of coordination; (iii) low level of accountability and transparency; (iv) emphasis on transactional bureaucratic processes over policy-making functions; (v) a well-educated cadre of professionals but with weak managerial skills and competencies for some specific required tasks such as economic analysis and forecasting; (vi) prevalence of cumbersome processes; (vii) unclear roles, duplication of tasks, and functions overlap; and (viii) lack of an IT governance framework.  The strategic review also provided a number of recommendations to address these deficiencies and improve MOFP’s performance; including: (i) the organisational restructuring of the Ministry to better support its strategic objectives; and (ii) the enhancement of work processes and systems. In addition, recommendations were put forward to address deficiencies identified with regards to: (a) leadership and accountability: implement Accountability Framework and increase focus on strategic management activities; (b) decision-making structures: reduce bottlenecks and increase responsiveness by reducing the number of reports to the Financial Secretary; (c) people: build capacity to ensure that critical activities can be performed; (d) work processes: carry out a business process reengineering to eliminate duplications and overlap; and (e) culture: reduce degree of “silo-mentality” by establishing new units that merge common functions that are currently duplicated across units.

 

The Ministry is now in the process of Implementation of the recommendation to transform the MOFP into a Centre of Excellence and the adoption of a new organization structure and processed to improve its efficiency and effectiveness.