The European Union (EU) has given Malawi €22 million (about K18 billion) to support government’s efforts to improve the transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.
The funds will support Public Finance Management Reforms in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development.
Speaking after the signing ceremony for the grant in Lilongwe today, Minister of Finance Economic Planning and Development, Joseph Mwanamvekha, thanked the EU and assured the EU Ambassador to Malawi, Sandra Paesen, that the money will be put to proper use.
He added that the reforms will help to save lots of money in the government that would have been lost due to poor public finance management such as in procurement, contract management and payroll.
On her part, Paesen said the funds demonstrates the EU’s continuous support to Public Financial Management in Malawi.
“The EU has had a long-lasting and strong interest in PFM, not only because PFM is the anchor for control, effectiveness, efficiency and transparency of public funds, but because a strong or weak PFM has implications beyond the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development to all areas of Government services delivery,” she said.
The ambassador added that the EU wants to move away from the reform on paper and move towards reform in processes, in behaviour and in performance.
She said the programme is now focusing on change. She then asked Mwanamvekha to set the tone for change and to lead the path of reform saying rewards should be based on merits, there should be sanctions for non-compliance and there should transparency and accountability regarding all public funds.
Paesen expressed hope that with the provided support, performance of Public Financial Management, particularly regarding transparency and accountability will see marked improvements.
This five year programme will cover many areas including strengthening revenue policy and revenue collections, addressing major expenditure risks e.g. like salary & pension management, commitment control, oversight of State Owned Enterprises as well as public procurement and contract management.