WB approves $24.5m additional financing for PIFRA-II

The World Bank (WB) approved a credit worth US$24.5 million in additional financing for the Second Improvement to Financial Reporting and Auditing Project (PIFRA-II).

The credit has been approved with an aim to further increase the accuracy and credibility of financial reporting, public financial management and oversight at all level of the government, said a press statement received here on Friday.

“The development of an accounting, reporting and auditing system that

covers all levels of government is notable as these achievements place Pakistan at the forefront of Public Financial Management reform in the South Asian region,” Said Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.

Rachid said that Pakistan was the only country in the region where SAP has been implemented successfully on such a large scale in the public sector.

Since the approval of the project in 2005, it has demonstrated notable results in improving the capacity of financial resource management, budgeting expenditure control and accountability at the national, provincial and district levels.

Through the development and operation of the financial accounting and budgeting System, the project has greatly improved accountability and transparency by strengthening internal controls and enabling stakeholders to generate timely reports through the system.

The project design and capacity building initiatives also promote greater use of country systems by the donor community, leading to increased aid effectiveness..

“The new systems enable timely and reliable reporting of accounts and audit certification of financial statements. Statements that used to take 24-28 months to be submitted to the legislature are now available within 8 months after the end of the fiscal year, “said Aman Trana, the task team leader.

Aman said that it is anticipated that this would further improve as

Pakistan continues to upgrade its systems and increase capacity.

Further improvement will include upgrading the SAP software and servers throughout the country, developing and implementing the Audit Management Information System, creating an Information security and disaster recovery management system along with establishing a data warehouse facility.

The credit will be from the International Development Association

(IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm and will have 35 years to maturity with a 10-year grace period. It carries as service charge of 0.75 percent.