RG-T3669 : Better Data, Smarter Technologies and more Efficient Processes: A Roadmap for Greater Fiscal Transparency to Fight Corruption
Project Status: Implementation
The main objective of this technical cooperation (TC) program is to support Latin America and the Caribbean countries in strengthening their fiscal transparency and efficiency, by harnessing the use of data, expanding the body of knowledge about the topic and by designing and implementing action plans aimed at creating better rules, stronger institutions, and efficient processes, to tackle corruption and the mismanagement of public funds. In the face of shrinking budgets, governments in the region have faced the challenge of not only overcoming technical and allocative efficiencies but more importantly curbing corruption for improving the management of their public resources. Tackling transparency and efficiency of fiscal policies and practices have become a key factor to improve (i) public sector's performance, (ii) economic development and growth, and (iii) the quality of and equitable access to public services that are provided to the citizens in the Latin America and Caribbean region. In normal times, fiscal management in Latin America in general struggles to provide adequate services while containing corruption. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has amplified this challenge, given the shot-up demand for medications and medical equipment and services. Existing safeguards might be bypassed due to pandemic urgency. Careful public procurement, enhanced transparency, and rigorous monitoring help deter misbehavior, or detect it early. Where anti-corruption initiatives have been made corruption is less likely, but it is difficult to initiate such reforms during a pandemic. Crucial role of active fiscal management in alleviating the fall-out of COVID-19 pandemic was highlighted in a recent Webinar (June 11, 2020) "Riding out COVID-19 pandemic: Korea's Economic and Fiscal Reactions" hosted by the Bank's FMM in collaboration with the Korean government, the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF). Speakers and participants alike reaffirmed that in times of economic turmoil aggravated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, benefits of an economic stimulus package can be maximized when it is carried out in a more efficient and transparent manner.