The Secretariat’s Debt Management Unit through its public debt management programme, supports member countries’ efforts to effectively manage their debt portfolios. In accordance with the mission of the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Sustainable Development Goals, the programme aims to strengthen the policy framework, institutional and legal arrangements, institutional capacity and management information systems to support prudent and effective debt management in member countries. Thereby supporting the overall aim of individual member countries to achieve sustainable debt, reduce long-term debt servicing cost, manage the risk of contingent liabilities as well as risks of debt distress.
Delivery of the programme is through advisory support, capacity building and provision and support of public debt management systems.
Advisory support to member countries is usually initiated with a diagnostic analysis either conducted remotely or through an in-country mission; resulting in defining and agreeing on the scope and implementation method of the support required.
The following are the key focus areas of advisory support provided:
Capacity building is provided through various means, such as: e-learning, training workshops (In-country/Regional/Pan-Commonwealth), conferences or stakeholders meetings and placement of debt experts. Debt officials, on a selective basis, are also provided with opportunities for an attachment within DMU.
A key component of the debt management programme is the provision of the Commonwealth Secretariat Debt Management Solutions that consists of a suite of software products which is primarily used by governments to manage their sovereign debt (both external and domestic) portfolio.
The Commonwealth Secretariat Debt Recording and Management System (CS-DRMS) is an integrated tool for recording, analysing and reporting public sector debt. The software adopts a holistic approach through the extensive coverage of various types and categories of debt liability and debt related financial instruments for sovereign as well as sub-national governments. It is designed to manage both conventional and complex financial products (loans and securities) offered by a wide range of creditors and capital markets.
The software, supporting sound debt management practices, is a comprehensive debt data repository system and helps maintain the debt position of a borrower. It supports crucial debt operations like debt service payments, monitoring of new borrowings and a host of analytical functions. The software promotes greater efficiency in debt management operations. It manages any portfolio size: small, medium or large; and its modular design means that it can be installed and configured to function independently or across back, middle and front offices.
The current version of CS-DRMS has been in existence for more than ten years and is used in more than 60 countries representing both Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth countries. The development of a modernised and enhanced public debt management system to replace CS-DRMS is underway.
The Securities Auction System (CS-SAS) allows countries to manage the auctioning of all government securities (Treasury Bills, Fixed Coupon Bonds and Floating Rate Bonds) through price-based or yield-based auctions. Users can conduct their auctions and optionally upload details of successful bids directly into CS-DRMS.
Horizon is an innovative decision support system for countries seeking to undertake prudent sovereign debt management. It integrates the formulation and implementation of a debt management strategy within a risk management framework and supports governments to undertake debt operations to meet core debt management objectives.
In delivering the debt management programme to our members, DMU partners with regional organisations for effective implementation, regional expertise, continued oversight, and effective use of limited resources.
We currently have partnerships with the following institutions: