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Macroeconomic Statistics

Introduction to Classification of Functions of Government for Government Finance Statistics (GFS)

Deadline passed

Session No.: SA 23.03

Location: New Delhi, India

Date: February 6-10, 2023 (1 week)

Delivery Method: In-person Training

Primary Language: English

    Target Audience

    The course is aimed at participants who are relatively early in their career and are involved in the compilation of financial reporting expenditure data and government finance statistics. The course values the participation of more candidates with practical experience.

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    No specific academic qualifications required but anticipated that applicants will be educated to degree level.

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    Candidates must have relevant current and practical experience related to the course to be considered for invitation.

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    Course Description

    Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG) is a classification defined by the United Nations Statistics Division and adapted to the IMF government finance statistics (GFS) reporting framework. COFOG enables trends in government expenditure by function (e.g., defense or education) or policy purposes to be examined over time. The value of this is that expenditure by functions of government of different countries can be compared. Participants will gain an understanding of how the ten functions of government as described in the GFSM 2014 are classified, how to categorize expenditure data to generate a functional split will be explained and how it should reconcile with the economic classification of expenditure data used in the GFS. Participants should feel comfortable to present and discuss relevant data of their own country. Practical exercises with participants working in random groups will feature throughout the course enabling them to be able to appropriately categorize expenditure data to the correct functional categories. Focus will be on the function environmental protection and how this can be used in conjunction with other government data on climate change to see how governments are addressing the issue. In addition, applications of COFOG for reporting select UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators will be discussed.

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    Course Objectives

    Participants will become familiar with the ten functions of government:

    • General public services
    • Defense
    • Public order and safety
    • Economic affairs
    • Environmental protection
    • Housing and community amenities
    • Health
    • Recreation, culture and religion
    • Education
    • Social protection

    Participants will be able to correctly attribute expenditure to the appropriate functional category and will feel confident enough to take back what they have learnt to their own teams and spread the understanding of COFOG as well as putting into practice what they have learnt to improve the quality and analytical usefulness of COFOG data in their country.

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