1: Assessment Initiation
The member country sends a formal request for a PIMA to the IMF (request form). The need for a PIMA may come from specific challenges that have emerged in the country’s public investment management system or more general interest in continuous improvement of the system.
The request often emerges during the continuous dialogue between the country and the IMF. IMF Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) assesses the request and sends notification letter confirming a PIMA to the member country.
The preparation of a PIMA begins 6 to 8 weeks prior to the two-week in-country assessment. A FAD-designated PIMA team leader and a focal person nominated by the country authorities first discuss the timing and scope of the PIMA in consultation with key relevant stakeholders. The PIMA framework itself defines the broad parameters of the mission, but countries often have specific issues in public investment management that they want the assessment to cover. It is essential that the purpose and desired outcomes of the assessment are clear, and all parties involved are directly engaged and committed to the process.
A short preparatory workshop is usually conducted to familiarize the government with the PIMA framework and to have them conduct an initial self-assessment. Data requirements for the assessment are defined and explained to the government.
A detailed meeting schedule will also be prepared prior to mission. The PIMA covers many different topics and institutions. The meetings must be planned to ensure sufficient time is allocated to discussing the different topics.
An assessment team typically comprises at least four people including the designated team leader. The team may also include participation of development partners with a consent of the authorities. The IMF informs relevant development partners of planned PIMA.
3: In-country assessment
The PIMA team uses the PIMA methodology to assess the strengths and weaknesses of public investment management practices of the country based on the discussion with the country’s officials, documents and data provided.
At the beginning of two-week in-country assessment, a short introductory meeting with all interlocuters provides an overview of the PIMA framework and the plans for the assessment. The purpose is to ensure that key counterparts are fully aware of the PIMA framework and approach and that the mission team is familiar with the specific concerns and issues of importance to the country.
The topical meetings usually occupy the mission team full time for at least the first week. The PIMA framework includes 45 dimensions, many of which will require separate meetings. There will typically be some additional meetings, including follow-up meetings, during the second week.
A mid-point presentation is to discuss PIMA scoring and recommendations. It allows the PIMA team to verify that their preliminary assessment is based on correct information and understanding, and that tentative recommendations are relevant and credible. It also allows the authorities to clarify any misconceptions and to begin thinking about the recommendations.
At the end of in-country assessment, a draft report is prepared and submitted to the authorities and IMF headquarters for review of accuracy and quality. The report documents the findings and recommendations of PIMA including a priority reform action plan.
4: Post assessment
The authorities and IMF headquarters provide comments on the draft report within three weeks after the in-country assessment. The PIMA team will reflect the comments received from the authorities and from IMF departments in the final report within six weeks after the PIMA mission. The final PIMA report will be submitted to the country authorities.
The IMF encourages publication of PIMA reports for wider dissemination and transparency and only publishes the PIMA report with permission from the authorities. Agreement to publish the PIMA report announces the willingness of the government to improve public investment management and enhances discussion within government as well as other key stakeholders including development partners and civil society to improve public investment management.
The authorities can adopt an action plan to improve public investment management based on the PIMA recommendations and request related technical assistance from the IMF and other development partners. Periodic assessment of progress in strengthening public investment management is usually a component of any technical assistance from the IMF. A broader assessment could involve updating the PIMA after a few years.