I am honoured to be here with you today, Honourable Minister, to sign a new EU support programme and demonstrate our continuous support to Public Financial Management in Malawi.
The EU together with its Members States have decided to allocate EUR 22 million over the next 5 years to support the Ministry's efforts to improve the transparency and accountability of public funds and the performance of its management.
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.
We commend the current fruitful engagement we have with your services, and trust this will remain and intensify for the years to come. Our support in this area goes back more than a decade.
Looking back at our past support and the impact it had on PFM in Malawi we must recognise, that although we have achieved progress there is also still a long way to go.
Focusing on the lessons learnt we jointly designed this programme with much greater focus on the main challenges of performance in PFM.
Past technical assistance has improved the expertise and now time has come to focus on impact, on how things are done differently on the ground.
We want to move away from the reform on paper and move towards reform in processes, in behaviour and in performance.
Hence, this time around the programme focuses more on the human aspect, on the (normal) apprehension to change and on the underlying political economy. We want to focus on CHANGE.
In order for this programme to be successful, we would like to ask YOU Honourable Minister, to set the marching order, to set the tone for change and to lead the path of reform: Rewards based on merits, sanctions for non-compliance and transparency and accountability regarding all public funds.
This programme will cover many areas of importance to you and your fellow Malawians: 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.
We are confident that with the provided support, performance of Public Financial Management, particularly regarding transparency and accountability will see marked improvements.
We look forward to joining hands with you to continue moving the development agenda of Malawi forward.