Kingdom of Lesotho : Technical Assistance Report—Government Finance Statistics Mission (January 14–25, 2019)
SUMMARY OF MISSION OUTCOMES AND PRIORITY RECOMMENDATIONS
In response to a request from the authorities and as part of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) Enhanced Data Dissemination Initiative (EDDI) 2 project, a government finance statistics (GFS) mission visited Maseru, Lesotho, during January 14–25, 2019.
The mission was a follow up to three previous GFS technical assistance (TA) missions under the EDDI2 in March and November 2016 and in May 2018. The mission was also in response to a request from the Lesotho delegation during a meeting with the IMF’s Statistics Department (STA) at the 2018 Annual Meetings in Bali for follow up TA to further assist with improving GFS compilation.
The mission aimed to review progress against recommendations of previous GFS TA missions and further assist with improving the quality of GFS currently compiled and disseminated. The mission reviewed progress with implementation of previous GFS TA recommendations and updated the public sector institutional table.
The mission assisted in incorporating reclassifications recommended during previous GFS TA missions to the new GFS compilation file and reviewed monthly and annual data covering the period April 1991 to March 2019 were compiled. The large statistical discrepancy which initially averaged about 10 percent of GDP has now been reduced to a range between -2 and 2 percent of GDP in the last five years.
The mission also assisted with compilation of preliminary GFS from financial statements of Local Governments and select entities outside the budgetary central government including the pension fund. Upon request from the Ministry of Finance’s (MOF) Principal Secretary, a GFS improvement work plan was developed for the next two years, drawing on the existing, and on previous and new GFS TA recommendations.
The mission overlapped during the second week, with an AFRITAC South (AFS) Public Financial Management (PFM) TA mission on the upgrade of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) and the new chart of accounts (CoA). The GFS TA mission attended meetings of the AFS PFM mission on the new chart of accounts and reiterated recommendations made by previous GFS mission for improvements to the new chart of accounts (CoA).
The mission also overlapped with the IMF African Department’s (AFR) Article IV review mission.