MANILA, Philippines (PINA, Jan. 7) - The Asian Development Bank has approved a US$360,000 technical assistance grant to help develop sound financial management and planning in the Federated States of Micronesia.

The technical assistance will finance trainers and training material. It is to help implement a new financial management information system, the bank said.

This is being introduced in the Department of Finance and Administration of the national government and the finance departments of the four state governments.

Given the country’s serious shortage of accountants, the training will create a pool of students who could complete formal accountancy qualification programs, the bank said.

This would reduce dependence on foreign accountants.

An earlier technical assistance program was provided by the bank for the implementation of performance-based budget management.

A key recommendation of this program was the new financial management information system. This was to prepare annual budgets, account for actual expenditure, and prepare reports for performance monitoring.

The new assistance will be implemented from next month to June 2004.

January 8, 2003

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