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Author Topic: Chicken Egg Dilemma - PFM or PA Reform?  (Read 8865 times)

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Albani

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Chicken Egg Dilemma - PFM or PA Reform?
« on: June 03, 2011, 16:43:05 GMT »
I've always asked myself, which one comes first, PFM Reform or Public Administration Reform?
On one side I think that PFM reform comes first and Public Administration reform second, on the other side one cannot imagine a PFM reform without PA reform.

After a series of "makijato" (macchiato) discussions with John, the chicken egg dilemma ceased to exist, instead the coin example explained by him captured both these reforms, but he added the third one which is Regulatory reform.  So it goes like this, one side of the coin is the PFM reform, the other side of the coin is Public Administration reform, and the Regulatory reform which keeps both sides together.

Two questions arose:
  • What size should the coin be?
    If it is too big, it will not fit in the wallet, if it too small it will be very impractical to handle it.
  • How thick should the coin be?
    If it is too thick, it won't fit in the wallet, if too thin it will break in parts.


And finally, the last but not least thought, is related to the ingredients of the coin.  So now the dilemma in my mind is:  how light the coin should be, what size is practical for the coin, and how thin should it be in order not to break, and to fit in the wallet?

If any of the PFM Boarders has to add something to the existing dilemmas, or any other dilemma that would capture best this issue, responses are more than welcomed.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 16:53:21 GMT by Albani »

STONE

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Re: Chicken Egg Dilemma - PFM or PA Reform?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2011, 22:05:53 GMT »
Another class post from Albani!

We need a new part on the board - reform metaphors we love and hate...

I love all you have offered here - my hated metaphors I might add later (they are mostly transport ones that I came across in Kyrgyzstan - old and long story...

So numismatic reform metaphors... (all that on a cup of coffee!)

Two sides of the same coin - absolutely.  Toss the coin and it doesn't matter which side comes up first.  Toss it again and the law of large numbers says... well "Rosenkrantz and Guilderntsern are Dead" addresses that superbly - PAR could come up 92 times in a row, or it could be PFMR, or not - but you have to enjoy Stoppard...

But (just less frequently) the coin can land on its edge... John's regulatory reform?  (Albani – suggests this the “glue” – or is it the internal molecular ‘joining-up’?) 

Now, some coins have a "serrated" edge.  I don't want to get into coin clipping and debasing the currency - numismatic metaphors too far?   Yet, it has been (irregular) practice since the 17th century to inscribe "decus et tutanem" on the edge of coins - "an ornament and a safeguard" – perhaps just flash serrating for the classically educated. The first British pound coin (in my lifetime) had this insciption. (It was also called a "Thatcher" - brassy and thinks it’s a sovereign... I won't go on). 

I can see regulatory reform as a safeguard, but is it also not just an ornament to keep us happy because PAR and PRMR never end/reach their goals?

Albani’s questions. 

(i)   how big should it be?  Albani refers to practicality of wallet-fit.  Too big and it won’t fit – I guess this is ‘too much too soon’.  Too small and difficult to handle – gets lost with all the other bits of reform going on?  But what about too “big” = too expensive.  Too small = doesn’t buy anything worth bothering about?
(ii)   Too thick to fit = too much too soon?  Too thin = breaks into parts.  It seems to me question (ii) is the same as (i) - a metaphor stretch?  But there’s always the ‘thin end of the wedge…’ but that’s mixing metaphors

And yes, the last but not least, – the ingredients of the coin: gold that everyone wants but can’t always be afforded within the current budget constraint; silver that will do the job but isn’t so glittery; or a strong (but dull) alloy of various metals that gets the job done and is durable.

This reply to gratefully acknowldges the support of Chateau de l’Eveche AOC Lalande de Pomerol 2000.   

Reg drove me home.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2011, 06:24:12 GMT by Napodano »

John Short

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Re: Chicken Egg Dilemma - PFM or PA Reform?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2011, 10:46:52 GMT »
Oh dear!  Now that’s the problem with listening to the outpourings of a taxi driver when having too much strong red wine of the Bordeaux variety – perhaps a subtler, but lighter, St. Joseph from the Rhone would have been more appropriate!  Or that Albani and John (or should it be Xhon) were consuming Skénderbeu brandy instead of that mind altering macchiato beloved in Pristina – perhaps the metaphor or should it have been a simile, liking PFMR/PAR/RF to a coin – might have come out better. 

There is not much point in indulging in PFM reform without addressing PAR and also RF (especially if monopoly services are being commercialised).  So what of another simile that I like to use? – the PFM cycle in PEFA methodology is like a chain and is only as strong as its weakest link so having first class control on budget execution is relatively meaningless if budget formulation is woeful. 

How would Reg's explaination  be understood after a good bottle or two and would that be so disapproved?  But of course the burning question is whether the Bordeaux will outlast the Rhone in next season’s Top 14 now that both have escaped PD2 or will the wolves of LOU remain at the top table?  Thankfully, there is no RF that will remove my vested interest in that!

Slàinte
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 15:24:56 GMT by Napodano »

Napodano

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Re: Chicken Egg Dilemma - PFM or PA Reform?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2011, 08:50:28 GMT »
having first class control on budget execution is relatively meaningless if budget formulation is woeful. 


John,

let me soberly disagree with you on the above. With first class control on budget execution at least you control spending. Not ideal for linking budget to policy, I agree, but the other way around would be worse. This is what now most experts call  'get the basic right' first.


John Short

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Re: Chicken Egg Dilemma - PFM or PA Reform?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2011, 09:07:34 GMT »
if you are concerned with service delivery

Napodano

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Re: Chicken Egg Dilemma - PFM or PA Reform?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2011, 09:09:13 GMT »
if you are concerned with service delivery

now I am with you 100%.

John Short

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Re: Chicken Egg Dilemma - PFM or PA Reform?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2011, 09:25:06 GMT »
which gives public expenditure its justification - without it - why bother? Let the taxpayers spend his/her money!

Martin Johnson

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Re: Chicken Egg Dilemma - PFM or PA Reform?
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2011, 21:04:35 GMT »
Or if you are protesting against austerity you could try spending someone else's money ....

 

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