The fourth edition of the International Symposium on Public Finance : 19/09/2010

The fourth edition of the International Symposium on Public Finance

In partnership with the International Public Finance Foundation (FONDAFIP), the support of French Magazine of Public Finance (RFFP) and the European Research Group in Public Finance (GERFIP), the Ministry of Economy and Finance held on September 18th and 19th 2010 the fourth edition of the International Symposium on Public Finance, under the theme: "New Governance of Public Finance in Morocco and France: what future?" at the headquarters of the General Treasury of the Kingdom.

In his opening speech, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Salah Eddine Mezouar stressed that the international situation brought profound changes in policy approach in general, and public finances policies in particular, with a confirmation, far and wide, of trends for rationalizing expenditures, increasing the optimization of taxation and transparency in public funds management and monitoring.

Moreover, the Minister stated that the recent reforms undertaken by Morocco in strengthening the governance of state finance allowed the public finances to take advantage of a "high level of reliability, security and transparency and better control of budget and financial developments”.

The implementation of these reforms helped to achieve "significant progress in managing the preparation, execution and control of the state budget process , financial visibility and financial and accounting information accessibility for significantly improving the transparency and good governance of Moroccan public finance ", he added.

In this sense, he recalled the economic reforms and competitiveness, public administration reform and the moralization of public life. The Minister mentioned some new reform projects which will contribute to strengthening public finance good governance, including the revision of the Organic Law relative to Finance Act and the State Accounting Reform. He also stated the implementation of the Integrated Management Expenditure System, the public expenditure control reform and the state taxation and Local authorities reforms. For his part, the General Treasurer of the Kingdom, Mr. Noureddine Bensouda maintained that the new governance of public finance involves a change in the organization and functioning of public finance systems all over the world ". He also requires the “respect of obligatory rules, budgetary and financial discipline, consecration of ethical values, integrity, transparency and accountability.”

Mr. Bensouda expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the Moroccan policy which allowed it to fulfil significant progress in managing the preparation process, executing and controlling the State Budget, achieving financial visibility and accessibility to financial and accounting information for significantly improving the transparency and good governance of public finance in Morocco.

During his speech, Mr. Michel Bouvier, President of FONDAFIP, stressed the irreversible effects of the economic crisis and the need to question our future. Therefore, he noted the importance of a thorough reform of public finance systems and the development of a new sustainable model of public finance system in a globalized and uncertain environment.

According to Mr. Bouvier, this challenge includes a double stake: The first, of a spatial order, concerns the ability to understand the relationship between economic and politic. The second, of temporal order, is more important for the future of nations. It is about the position of public expenditure in the long term and it focuses on a forecast vision with future investments.

It`s not just, he explains, to reinvent the public finances, but more basically to reconsider the state’s role. The essence of the problem is "mainly political".

The President of FONDAFIP also stressed the importance of public expenditure in the development, emphasizing the need to "be interested in the reform of the state budget, long term programming and resources control.” The International Symposium on Public Finance was organized around four panels, covering the following topics: "What are the state fiscal reform key factors?" chaired by Mr. Mohamed Berrada, university professor and former finance minister, "What mobilization of public finance resources?", chaired by Mr. Abdellatif Jouahri, Governor of Bank Al Maghrib, "What reform of public finance controls?" chaired by Mr. Ahmed El Midaoui, First President of the General accounting office. "What local and regional finance reform?" chaired by Mr. Fathallah Oualalou, Mayor of the city of Rabat and former Minister of Finance.