Project Case Study
Undertaking public finance risk assessments in Punjab
Working in the Punjab region of Pakistan to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the public sector's financial management
The Punjab region of Pakistan is the country’s most populous, with over 100 million inhabitants, or 55% of its people. Despite it also being the most developed region in the country, there is significant poverty, particularly in the less developed south and west of the region away from Lahore.
The country is a prominent candidate for international aid, and the UK, as of April 2013, has pledged to almost double its bilateral contribution, from £227 million to £446 million a year by the fiscal year 2014-15.
In 2011, we were asked by the UK’s Department for International Development to provide them with a detailed understanding of the state of public finance and the accompanying risk of corruption. We deployed a team of experts to the Punjab who gathered evidence from a range of government institutions at both provincial and district levels. This research was used to construct a detailed public expenditure and financial accountability (PEFA) assessment and three Fiduciary Risk Assessments (FRAs), which addressed issues in health and education as well as the overall provincial public sector.
This project, and other FRA/PEFA assessments carried out by our team, provides DFID with a detailed understanding of the landscape of public financial risk in the Punjab. This information can then be used to inform the design of ensuing in-country programmes with the ultimate aim of reducing poverty in Pakistan.
The assessments also help to promote improved public financial management and stronger domestic financial accountability through independent scrutiny of Pakistan’s public institutions, avoiding any corrupt practice and helping to promote the proper use of funds for much-needed infrastructure, education and public health sector projects in the area.