Public financial management, public procurement and external audit


public finance and auditGovernments must deliver public services within a sustainable financial framework. Since revenue is rarely sufficient to meet demand, public money must be managed carefully to ensure sustainability for the medium- and long-term. Therefore, robust public financial management systems are essential at all stages of the budget cycle – from formulation to execution, including procurement, financial management and control, and internal audit. Furthermore, the existence of an independent and efficient Supreme Audit Institution to exercise professional scrutiny of the executive’s management of public funds is a crucial feature of any democratic financial accountability system.

The requirements of a sound public financial management system can be summarised as follows:

  •  A strong and well-organised ministry of finance equipped with the necessary administrative capacity and supported by a legal framework that allows it to exercise its role.

  •  Cost-effective public internal financial control systems, incorporating financial management and control and internal audit, across the entire public administration.

  •  An independent and professional Supreme Audit Institution supported by a legal framework which allows for high-quality audits that impact on public sector functioning.

Public procurement (including public/private partnerships and concessions) is an integral part of an effective public administration and public financial management, as it is one of the key means by which public money is spent in order to provide public services.‌ Good public procurement requires:

  • A regulatory framework that contains policies and procedures to guide the work of contracting authorities and helps ensure economy, efficiency, transparency, accountability and access to justice in public procurement.

  • Institutional structures, operational capacities and market conditions needed for the effective implementation of the regulatory framework.

  • Sound and efficient public procurement operations which deliver value for money.

SIGMA assists countries in enhancing their public financial management capacity through:

  • Helping ministries of finance as central bodies for formulating, implementing, monitoring and controlling the budget execution.

  • Supporting public institutions in developing public internal financial control through peer reviews and policy papers to enhance their institutional capacity in this area.

  • Helping the competent authorities review and revise strategies and regulations, set up and strengthen central public procurement institutions, train officials, introduce modern procurement approaches, and monitor performance.

  • Supporting  Supreme Audit Institutions with their progress towards compliance with good European practices, in line with International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions.



Get in touch with our team leaders

Piotr-Nils Gorecki
Senior Policy Advisor
Public financial management

Tel: +33 (0) 1 45 24 79 93

Marian Lemke
Senior Policy Advisor
Public procurement
Tel: +33 (0) 1 45 24 13 18

Alastair Swarbrick
Senior Policy Advisor
Audit, budget and internal control
Tel: +33(0) 1 45 24 95 58

Browse our publications on this area of expertise

Data portal: public financial management

 Credit to the TEN network and WeBER project


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