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The Global Government Finance Summit 2019 addressed some of the biggest challenges facing public sector leaders finance leaders around the world.

6 June 2019
19:00 – 22:00

Welcome Dinner

Preparing for the next economic crisis

Ten years on from the credit crunch and the ensuing financial crisis, warning signs are emerging in the global economy. Chinese growth is slowing, with knock-on effects on commodity prices. European countries are dipping into recession, whilst the UK prepares to fracture its access to key EU markets. Many national and local governments are burdened by huge debts. And globalisation is slipping into reverse, with trade under pressure from US protectionism and changing supply chains.

But many governments have already fired most of the fiscal and monetary ammunition they need to fight recession: interest rates are low, debts high and tax revenues tenuous. This session will consider where the key risks lie in the global economy and finance system, how a new downturn might develop, and what governments can do to avert – or prepare for – the danger of global recession.

Presentations, followed by group discussion

Michel Houdebine, Chief Economist, Ministry of Economy and Finance, France

Carlos Martinez Mongay, Deputy Director General DG ECFIN, European Commission

7 June 2019
08:30 – 09:15

Welcome Refreshments

09:15 – 11:00

Monitoring and managing public sector performance

As management specialist Peter Drucker said: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” And governments have increasingly taken his advice on board – improving management information and data handling, and creating central teams to monitor and improve performance in public spending and service delivery.

Some of these systems are designed to examine departments’ performance against a set of policy goals set out by political leaders. Others focus on improving efficiency in delivery, tracking and comparing spending across public sector bodies to spread best practice and catalyse reform programmes. But all of them demand effective information-gathering, advanced data management platforms, and strong links into a wide range of public sector bodies.

This session will examine some of the processes, structures and digital tools used to measure performance across the public sector, and consider the skills and capabilities required in finance departments and central units.

Presentations, followed by group discussion

Veiko Tali, Secretary General, Ministry of Finance, Estonia

Han Neng Hsiu, Deputy Secretary (Development), Ministry of Finance, Singapore

11:00 – 11:30

Coffee Break

11:30 – 13:00

Finance departments’ crucial roles in digital transformation

With digital technologies transforming private sector services, citizens increasingly expect the same accessibility and convenience from government. As countries compete to attract talent and investment, economic policy makers know that the most digitally connected nations have the edge. And civil service leaders recognise that digital and data tech can provide stronger, more personalised public services at lower cost – enabling them to meet rising demand within tight fiscal envelopes.

But successful adoption of digital demands changes in the way that governments operate – and these reforms have big implications for government finance departments.

For example, traditional approaches to business planning mitigate against the ‘Agile’ approach best suited to digital schemes; so spending approval and procurement processes need adapting. Building services around users means working across organisational boundaries, raising questions over governance, funding and accountabilities. Recruiting digital talent in competition with the private sector, departments may need greater flexibility around pay. And to promote central digital policies across the civil service, governments may wish to deploy levers such as spend controls.

This session will examine the key success factors for public digital transformation, exploring how finance departments can promote digital whilst managing risk and safeguarding the public finances. Examining the lessons learned from use cases around the world, delegates will discuss finance departments’ roles in deploying data and digital technologies, transforming governments’ operating models to deliver timely, multichannel, proactive and personalised public services.

Presentation, followed by group discussion

Arnauld Bertrand, EY Global Government & Public Sector Advisory Leader and Philippe Rambal, EY France Government & Public Sector Leader

13:00 to 14:00

Lunch and networking

14:00 – 15:30

Building productivity, sharpening competitiveness

Many countries around the world are suffering from two linked problems: slow real median wage growth, and high levels of public debt. The former fosters inequality and public discontent; and unless salaries rise – boosting income tax revenues – governments must replenish public finances by cutting spending, worsening social problems and damaging local economies.

So boosting productivity and competitiveness is a priority in many countries. And this is something of a circular problem: when staff are cheap, companies are incentivised to hire people rather than invest in new plant and technology – leaving productivity levels low. But the solutions are complex, reaching into fiscal policy, industrial strategy, education and skills, benefits, inward investment, infrastructure management and market regulation – among others.

Presentations, followed by group discussion

Édouard Chrétien, Head of Domestic Economic Policy Unit, Ministry of Economy and Finance, France

Greg Orencsak, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Finance, Ontario, Canada

15:30 – 16:00

Coffee break

16:00 – 17:30

Don’t respond, avert: funding preventive services

Around the world, governments are faced with long-term problems that look set to demand ever-higher levels of reactive spending. Some countries have ageing populations in need of social and health care; some suffer serious crime or disorder, pushing up security and prisons spending; some carry large populations of the workless and under-employed; some are vulnerable to natural disasters; and all face spiraling costs as climate change fosters floods, droughts and storms.

All of these problems can be minimised by intelligent preventive services. Good public health defrays healthcare spending; early intervention and effective rehabilitation cuts crime rates; skills and growth policies boost employment; and environmental policies constrain climate change and improve states’ resilience – with reforestation policies, for example, reducing flooding, drought and erosion.

But preventive services often struggle to attract funding. Politicians are pressured to focus scarce resources on current pain points, not future risks; political cycles mitigate against policies that bear fruit over long timescales; and preventive services are generally funded by one department, whilst producing benefits for many – creating sticking points around incentives.

This session will consider the governmental structures, funding systems and policymaking processes that can support spending on preventive services, fostering cross-departmental collaboration today to avert problems and cut public spending tomorrow.

Presentation, followed by group discussion

Veronica Scotti, Group Managing Director, Chairperson Public Sector Solutions, Swiss Re and Esther Baur, Head of Europe Director, Public Sector Solutions, Swiss Re

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