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Cablegate: Demarche Delivered: Encouraging Central

VZCZCXRO6072
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0961 2941443
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211443Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0239
INFO RUCNSAD/SADC COLLECTIVE
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUEATRS/DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS KINSHASA 000961

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

EEB/IFD/OMA FOR BSAUNDERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON EFIN PREL CG
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE DELIVERED: ENCOURAGING CENTRAL
GOVERNMENT BUDGET TRANSPARENCY

REF: (A) STATE 98111;
(B) KINSHASA 320

1. Econcouns delivered ref A points on October 15 jointly to the
Ministry of Finance's Chief of Staff, Georges Wembi Loambi, and the
Ministry of Budget's Deputy Chief of Staff, Onesime Kukatula.
Neither GDRC official was aware of the restrictions contained in the
FY 2009 Appropriations Act concerning budget transparency, but spoke
at length regarding continuing efforts by the GDRC to improve both
budget transparency and overall public financial management.

2. (SBU) Kakutula provided EconCouns with an extensive overview of
the budget formulation and execution process, stressing that
transparency was ensured through a number of instruments and
policies. The budget, Kakutula noted, has its basis in the DRC's
broader development framework, including the government's Poverty
Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and President Kabila's Cinq
Chantiers (or priority areas). These in turn are implemented
through the GDRC's Priority Action Plan (PAP). This framework was
developed in coordination with international partners and civil
society. The drafting of the budget, overseen by the Ministry of
Budget, includes participation from all stakeholders: ministries,
other public agencies, and civil society. Information on the draft
budget is available through a number of public documents, including
manuals and circulars that explain the procedures. In addition, a
general summary of the draft budget (Expose General du Project du
Budget de L'Etat, in French) is published annually and widely
available.


3. (SBU) Once approved by the Council of Ministers, the budget is
submitted to the National Assembly for debate. (Note: Opposition
members raised tough questions of the Prime Minister about the
execution of the 2009 budget during this year's National Assembly
debate on the budget. Post will report septel on the draft 2010
budget. End note.) The budget is publically available both in
print form and on the Ministry of Budget's website. The Ministry of
Budget is required by law to submit quarterly reporting on the
execution of the budget to the National Assembly.

4. (SBU) Improving the transparency and efficiency of public
financial management remains a priority for the GDRC. In early
2009, the GDRC launched an inter-ministerial Working Group on Public
Finance Reform (Comite d'Orientation des Reformes des Finances
Publiques or COREF, in French) to support the implementation of key
public finance reforms. A number of donors, led by the World Bank,
are supporting enhanced public financial management, including
improved budget transparency and execution. In addition, the IMF is
working closely with the GDRC to improve public spending, which is
reported monthly to the IMF. A coordination committee has been
established by the Ministry of Finance and the Congolese Central
Bank to ensure harmonization of expenditures. A number of specific
reforms to improve public financial management, including specific
actions on budget formulation and execution, will be included in a
new IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), now
anticipated to be approved in November.

5. (SBU) Comment: The GDRC, with support from donors, has taken a
number of important steps to improve the public financial
management, including enhanced transparency and efficiency of the
budget process. The Deputy Chief of Staff is correct to note that
the budget is publically available and that the process is largely
Qthe budget is publically available and that the process is largely
participatory. The challenge within public financial management
lies more with the government's limited capacity to effectively
execute the budget as well as coordinate among what is an unwieldy
bureaucracy. These are areas where donors, including the United
States, continue to support the GDRC in its efforts to implement
these critical reforms.
End comment.

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