n Journal of Public Administration - Perspectives of effective financial management in the public sector

Volume 39, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



Change in managing government entities takes place at breathtaking speed. Governments are currently moving away from public administration towards public management and towards a more businesslike approach in managing their affairs. Developments such as the new public management, the adoption of corporate governance in the public sector and the proclamation of the , 1999 (PFMA) highlight the shift of a business outlook on management processes. During the past few years financial management and accounting in the public sector have been characterised by several developments at international and national level. The most important development was the proposal to introduce accrual-based accounting in the public sector in the near future. Public sector entities currently experience difficulties in implementing accrual-based accounting and the requirements of the PFMA. The implementation of sound financial management principles is also hindered due to various shortcomings in the administrative functions. This article deals with the current shortcomings of financial management in the public sector in South Africa and indicates how the principles and features of sound financial management practice could address these shortcomings.

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