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Public Financial Management

Public financial management (PFM) is the system of rules, processes, procedures, and regulations through which decisions on financial resources are made and implemented. In a broader perspective, PFM also defines the relation of the state to its citizens.

The major dimensions of the domestic context of PFM are the quality of governance and capability of institutions in the country. As such, PFM is a large and rapidly developing area of study that has particular importance to parliamentary staff, and those who engage in the field of legislative development. The PFM course aims to provide a basis for better understanding core concepts, objectives, and issues in PFM as they relate to the functions of the legislature. It considers the context of PFM, as well as the “upstream” and “downstream” stages of the budget. A particular focus of the course—both in the core material and e-discussions—will be to examine how PFM arrangements impact on budgetary outcomes and the objectives of aggregate financial discipline, allocative efficiency, and operational efficiency.

Dates: 7 May 2018 – 15 June 2018
Location: Online

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Reflect on the major dimensions of the internal and external context of budgetary systems
  • Explain the meaning and relevance of the three main objectives of Public Financial Management and how they interface with parliament and political choices
  • Appreciate how public budgeting fits into the macroeconomic framework
  • Appraise the role of the legislature throughout the key stages of the budget process across different jurisdictions
  • Raise key questions and apply different techniques when reviewing revenue and expenditure plans, financial accounts, and actual performance

Topics Covered

  • The context of public financial management:
    • Governance, Institutional and Global Context
    • Policy, Macroeconomic and Fiscal Context
  • Concepts and objectives of PFM
  • Budget types, systems and classifications
  • Budget Strategy and Preparation
  • Budget Approval and Scrutiny
  • Budget Implementation
  • Accounting, Reporting and Audit


This course is part of the Professional Development Certificate in Parliamentary Management. For more information, click here.

If you wish to register for an individual course without being admitted to the program, please contact us at parl.scs [at]

Course Drop/Withdrawal Policy

  • Any time prior to the 1st class: Course Drop Period with Full Refund.
  • After the 1st and before the 2nd class: Course Drop Period with Refund minus $20 fee.
  • After the 2nd class: Course Withdrawal with No Refund.

Contact Information

For registration inquiries:
Telephone: 514-398-5454
E-mail: parl.scs [at]

For program inquiries:
Dr. Frederick (Rick) Stapenhurst: frederick.stapenhurst [at]

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