The Global Government Finance Summit addresses some of the biggest challenges facing public sector finance leaders around the world.
Each session is a free-flowing discussion between participants, including stimulating presentations from a range of Public Service leaders. Please see below the agenda for the 2023 Summit…
Tuesday 6 June 2023
18:30 – 19:30
Welcome, context and group introductions
General Treasurer of the Kingdom, Morocco
Former UK Senior Civil Servant; Moderator, Global Government Forum
19:30 – 21:30
Participants consider global economic issues and discussions take place over dinner.
Presentation and discussion
Minister of Economy and Finance, Morocco
Chief Economist, Government of Ireland, Ireland
Discussions take place over dinner and the session ends at 21:30
Wednesday 7 June 2023
09:00 – 10:30
The path to sustainable growth: finance departments and the climate crisis
After 40 years of cheap energy, spiralling prices are hitting economic growth and living standards – demonstrating the risks of dependence on globalised energy markets built around fossil fuels. The problem illustrates the importance of the net zero agenda: to avert climate change, tackle pollution, strengthen resilience and build the economies of the future, finance departments must develop the green infrastructure, incentives and industries required to attract investment and change the behaviour of organisations and citizens.
Major economies have got the message: the USA’s Inflation Reduction Act and the EU’s pandemic recovery fund represent huge investments in sustainable industries – but meeting the ambitions of COP26 will require more than resources. Finance ministries will, for example, have to redesign tax and regulatory frameworks; develop policies to rebuild national infrastructures; and reduce emissions across governments’ own operations. And these goals in turn will demand further reforms – such as those required to build thriving green finance sectors, and to incorporate sustainability objectives into accounting systems and performance metrics. In this session, finance leaders will debate their role in driving down carbon emissions while protecting their populations’ living standards.
Including presentations and discussion
Raúl Enrique Rigo
Secretary of the National General Treasury, Ministry of the Economy, Argentina
Director Strategy Public Finance Industry, Microsoft
Session followed by refreshment break
11:00 – 12:30
The pandemic saw governments rapidly expanding their use of digital information: accessing, processing and analysing new data sources, they were able both to quickly understand COVID-19’s impact on populations and economies, and to target and deliver support. Finance departments were at the forefront of these innovations, which sat alongside ongoing work to make better use of data in financial management, budgeting and project governance. Having demonstrated the huge value of modern technologies, they’re well placed now to realise the full potential of digital and data.
Real-time geospatial, transactions and sensor data, for example, can be used to build a far more complete picture of economic activity – helping to target interventions and guide policymaking. Developing shared ways of managing financial data, departments can coordinate service delivery, improving budgeting, and track the impact of public spending. Digitalising and automating business processes, they can revolutionise both collection and disbursement operations. Analysing financial data, they can combat cyber and organised crime, fraud, errors and tax evasion. This session will explore how treasuries and finance ministries can best use digital and data technologies to improve policymaking, financial management and service delivery.
Director, State Treasury Agency, Azerbaijan
Ahmed Réda Chami
President, Economic, Social and Environmental Council, Morocco
Global Lead, Strategy, Planning, Sales Enablement and Commercialization, Public Sector Unit, Mastercard
Session followed by lunch
13:30 – 15:00
A 21st century tax system
Tax authorities are caught in an uncomfortable vice. In many countries, demographic changes, extreme weather events and economic crises are demanding ever more public spending; tax takes, however, are under pressure. Slow growth in median earnings constrains income tax receipts, while the very wealthy and multinational companies put assets beyond the reach of governments. Systems built to measure economic activity in its physical location struggle to tax value creation in the fast-growing digital sector. Global competition to attract investment is pushing corporation tax rates ever lower, while traditional revenue sources such as fuel duty must shrink if we are to slow climate change. As ever, corruption, fraud and evasion take a slice.
There’s little sign of helpful reforms in the international tax architecture, but meanwhile governments have plenty of ways to modernise their own tax systems. Digital services charges and employment law reforms can adjust tax models around our changed economies. Pollution and emissions taxes can incentivise more sustainable economic growth, while providing the revenues to fund green infrastructure and retool workforces. The collection of taxes and customs duties can be digitalised and automated – providing benefits for users, cutting administration costs, and squeezing graft and fraud. And then there’s the more radical end of the ideas spectrum, such as road user pricing, wealth taxes and universal basic incomes. This session will consider how governments can reshape their tax policies and collection operations, restoring the revenues required to meet their population’s growing needs.
Head, Tax and Customs Policy Department, Ministry of Finance, Georgia
Co-Founder and Chief Evangelist, Quantexa
Session followed by a refreshment break
15:30 – 17:00
The smart shopper: commissioning and procurement
In recent years, commissioning and procurement have evolved at pace. Civil service finance and commercial leaders have, for example, begun to coordinate and aggregate departments’ purchases of goods and services – securing economies of scale, ensuring consistent pricing and improving interoperability. They’ve worked to align procurement with wider public policy goals, such as supporting SMEs, improving sustainability and stimulating local economies. They’ve begun to adapt to the demands of digital technologies, with innovations such as digital marketplaces transforming their IT spending. And they’ve much improved their management of supplier markets, strengthening the use of techniques such as private finance initiatives and payment by results.
In the wake of the PPE buying frenzy, however, there is plainly work to do – such as improved horizon-scanning and emergency planning, with the goal of protecting value for money and transparency in future crises. Adapting business planning, spending approvals, project governance and capital investment to the needs of digital technologies would help stem the flow of failed IT schemes. Procurement reforms can remove the barriers that lock SMEs out of public markets; departments must also learn to tap into the expertise of external advisors without becoming dependent on them. The most advanced governments are creating pooled budgets to support cross-departmental programmes, or establishing innovation funds to back experimental work. This session will focus on existing best practice in commissioning and procurement – and on the next reforms required if governments are to become better buyers.
General Treasurer of the Kingdom, Morocco
17:00 – 17:20
Summary and thanks
Summit concludes at 17:20