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Public Finance

We help public-finance institutions improve their efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, and fiscal positions–allowing them to make better use of public funds.

With governments worldwide facing profound fiscal imbalances and systemic financial failures, public-finance institutions—including finance ministries, government lenders, public pension funds, tax authorities, central banks, and financial regulators – are under intense pressure to increase transparency and improve their performance.

What we do

We help public-finance institutions meet these challenges. Our work in public finance covers a wide range of topics, from examining macroeconomic trends and performing expenditure analysis to assessing and quantifying risk, redesigning IT infrastructure, and exploring new methods of revenue generation.

Examples of our work

In the past 5 years alone, we have supported more than 300 public-finance projects in 35 countries. Recent examples of our work include:

  • developing a compliance and collections improvement strategy for a national tax authority
  • helping a government lender streamline the loan-approval process, yielding a 70 percent decrease in backlogs as well as an increase in employee morale and customer satisfaction
  • supporting a taxpayer-service organization in efforts to improve its online functionality and call-center operations, yielding a 10 percent boost in productivity and greater taxpayer satisfaction
  • strengthening the risk-management capabilities of several financial regulators around the world after the financial crisis
  • working with an emerging-market tax administration to segment taxpayers, train tax inspectors, and implement operational monitoring tools—initiatives that yielded a 60-fold increase in collections and a 10-fold boost in productivity within 6 months

Our practitioners have access to proprietary research, tools, and approaches that have been successfully applied in various public-sector contexts worldwide. The McKinsey Center for Government’s research on spending reviews and tax benchmarking, for instance, helps public-finance leaders learn from their peers and understand the practices that drive excellence in fiscal management.

Featured experts

Tom Dohrmann

Senior Partner, Washington DC

Impact story

A national tax authority increases compliance and collections

By developing and implementing a detailed strategy to increase taxpayer compliance and collections, an OECD country boosted its tax revenues.

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