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General Guidelines for the Development of Government Payment Programs

Governments, regardless of their country’s stage of economic development, make payments to, and collect payments from individuals and businesses. Financial resources are also transferred between the various government agencies. These flows cover a wide range of economic sectors and activities, and in most cases the overall amount of such flows is significant, for example in terms of the gross domestic product (GDP). Improvements in government payment programs that lead to higher levels of efficiency, safety and transparency can have a significant impact in the economy as a whole. Moreover, due to their scale and nature, government payments programs can also become an effective tool in the pursuit of other public policy objectives, such as the modernization of the national payments system or to promote financial inclusion for certain population segments. Despite the relative importance of government payment programs, there is no systematic set of references to guide governments and other relevant stakeholders in assessing the challenges associated with the effective development and day-to-day operation of these programs.

This report aims at filling this gap by presenting a set of comprehensive Guidelines that can assist governments and other stakeholders in developing and operating safe and efficient government payment programs.

World Bank
With 189 member countries, staff from more than 170 countries, and offices in over 130 locations, the World Bank Group is a unique global partnership: five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries. The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. Its five institutions share a commitment to reducing poverty, increasing shared prosperity, and promoting sustainable development.