Public financial management reform: an ongoing journey towards good governance

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Alkaraan, Fadi
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Purpose: This paper aims to provide a better understanding of the influence of contextual factors on public financial management reform (PFMR) process. It provides a comprehensive analytical view of PFMR in the UAE over the period (2003-2016). Design/methodology/approach: The paper is based on a case study approach as a research methodology. It draws on archival data as well as interviews with key staff of the Ministry of Finance (MoF). A contingency model is used as conceptual framework to examine PFMR in the UAE. Findings: Finding of this study show that the PFMR process cannot be viewed as an isolated initiative, rather, as part of a set of broader NPM reforms to strengthen public accountability for performance. The transition process creates major organisational changes; strategy, structure (new rules and roles), culture (core values about organisational vision, mission, and objectives). Benchmarks and milestones have been set in the accompanying monitoring matrix, though in practice, delays have typically occurred in the implementation of reforms. Challenges ahead facing the MoF are addressed. Research limitations/implications: The findings should be understood in the economic, social and historical contexts of the UAE. Given the narrow scope of this paper, a single case study was conducted. Crucial themes for future research including how public sector executives employ effective independent measures of outcomes. The impact of basic supporting subsystems in translating strategic priorities and integrating them into the federal budget. Practical implications: Research on PFMR is inherently practical. Essential factors for successful implantation of PFMR include government strategy, regulatory framework, information communication technology, technical experience, strong leadership, long-term political and administrative commitments, strategic pre-decision control mechanisms and accurate performance measurement. Originality/value: This paper contributes to the limited studies on PFMR in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries. Lessons of this study may be valid for other countries considering similar developments in their PFMR.
Control , MENA , Accountability , Transparency , Performance-based budgeting , Public financial management reform
Alkaraan, F. (2018) 'Public financial management reform: an ongoing journey towards good governance', Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, 16(4), pp. 585-609. doi: 10.1108/JFRA-08-2017-0075
© Emerald Publishing Limited 2018.