Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014

Introduction

The Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 (GFSM 2014) is part of a series of international guidelines on statistical methodologies that have been issued by the International Monetary Fund.

The Manual updates the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001 and is the third edition of guidelines that describe a specialized macroeconomic statistical framework, the government finance statistics (GFS) framework, designed to support fiscal analysis.

The Manual was produced by the IMF’s Statistics Department in fulfillment of its mission to provide strong leadership for the development and application of sound statistical practices and is published in service of the worldwide trend toward greater accountability and fiscal transparency.

The Manual is designed for use by compilers of GFS, fiscal analysts, and other users of fi scal data. It may also be informative to compilers and users of other macroeconomic statistics in understanding the relations between the various sets of macroeconomic statistics, in particular, to compilers of the national accounts who may depend on GFS as an input to their work.

The guidelines also explain the relationship of GFS with internationally accepted accounting standards and may therefore be useful for those involved in reforming government accounting systems.

The Manual is focused, however, on conceptual descriptions of definitions, classifications, and conceptual guidelines for compiling and disseminating GFS, and, as such, it does not describe the methods to be used to compile the statistics.

The GFSM 2014 is supplemented by practical guidance on the compilation of the statistics provided in Government Finance Statistics: Compilation Guide for Developing Countries 2011 and Quarterly Government Finance Statistics: Guide for Compilers and Users, as well as through technical assistance and training work with individual countries.

However, the text of these practical guidelines is not intended to take precedence over the methodological guidance provided in the Manual.

In addition to this English language version, the Manual will be published in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish. Fiscal analysis continues to evolve in response to the growing complexity of formulating and evaluating fiscal policies.

In particular, globalization increases demands for internationally comparable data, while concerns about the sustainability of fiscal policies increase demands for information on the balance sheets of government and the broader public sector. Moreover, because of the demand for cross-sectoral consistency in macroeconomic data, the concepts and principles set out in the Manual are harmonized with those of the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA) and the sixth edition of the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6).

For consistent guidance on debt-related issues, the GFSM 2014 is also supplemented with the Public Sector Debt Statistics: A Guide for Compilers and Users (PSDS Guide) and the External Debt Statistics: Guide for Compilers and Users 2013 (2013 EDS Guide).

The GFSM 2014 recommends disseminating fully integrated flows and stock positions, recorded on an accrual basis, while maintaining cash-fl ow data to allow an assessment of the liquidity constraints of government. It is recognized that the implementation of the fully integrated system described in the Manual will take some time and will need to progress at a pace determined by the diff erring needs and circumstances of the country involved.

In particular, many countries will need to revise their underlying accounting systems to reflect the accrual basis of recording and revised classify cations. 

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