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CS-DRMS has helped to make Lesotho a model for debt management in southern Africa.

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Ms Makampong T'solele
Debt Manager, Ministry of Finance, Lesotho

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The Debt Management Section (DMS) which implements the Secretariat's capacity building programme in debt management in its member countries, is an arm of the Special Advisory Services Division (SASD) of the Secretariat. The main objective of the debt programme is to assist countries in ensuring sustainable debt management. In accordance with the mission of the Commonwealth Secretariat and the principles of the Millennium Development Goals to ensure sustainable debt of member countries, the central feature of the Secretariat's current response is to build capacity in debt management as well as to provide advisory support on debt strategies and institutional aspects.

 

The role of DMS in providing technical assistance on debt and development resource management is focused on the following areas:

  • Provision of the Commonwealth Secretariat Debt Recording and Management System (CS-DRMS) and Commonwealth Secretariat Securities Auctioning System (CS-SAS) software;
  • Strenghtening the institutional framework of debt management;
  • Assisting in recording various types of debt;
  • Building capacity in debt management;
  • Providing policy advice and assistance with debt analysis;
  • Providing short or long term debt management experts to member countries as and when required;
  • Adding value through strategic partnerships;
  • Publishing articles and documents on debt management issues;
  • Contributing to debt data standards and the dissemination of debt statistics.

The principal delivery vehicles of DMS for capacity building comprise the following:

  • Organising training /workshops at a country level, regional or global basis.
  • Undertaking country assessment missions;
  • Providing Hotline support on the use of CS-DRMS/CS-SAS;
  • Providing debt experts on long-term or short-term assignment in countries;
  • Tapping local resource persons for trouble shooting;
  • Attaching debt officials in DMS on a selective basis;
  • Raising awareness on debt management issues through the publication of articles in the debt management series and conducting stakeholder meetings.

The CS-DRMS application assists countries record, manage and analyse their debt from a holistic perspective. It provides a central repository for several categories of public and privately secured external and domestic debt, including short-term debt. The system also handles grants and government lending and on-lending. The system consists of two main modules, the External and Domestic Debt components. The External debt module boasts of a robust Management Tools facility that assists users in debt and portfolio analysis, evaluating terms for new borrowings and sensitivity analysis.

 

The CS-SAS is another piece of software which allows clients to manage auctioning of securities from time of issue through selection of bidders to generation of allotment letters.