EU’s support to the introduction of Public Internal Financial Control in BiH

The project “Support to the introduction of Public Internal Financial Control in BiH (PIFC)” organised a conference today in Teslic, aimed at presenting its achievements and distributing certificates to civil servants that have participated in the training provided by the project.

This event represents one of the final activities of the project which was funded by the EU in the amount of 1,117.080 Euro from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA). The project aimed to assist the State, Entities and Brcko District in strengthening the internal control environment of the public administration with the objective of obtaining a reformed, streamlined, harmonised, effective, transparent and service oriented public administration, capable of leading Bosnia and Herzegovina through the Stabilisation and Association Process and EU accession. Since May 2010 the project has provided assistance for drafting legislation and building capacity in Internal Audit and Financial Management and Control, and has trained 220 civil servants from all levels of government.

“The results achieved in this project strongly support the reform of the public administration, one of the milestones in the country’s European integration process.” said Una Kelly, Acting Head of the Operations Section for Justice and Home Affairs and Public Administration Reform of the EU Delegation to BiH.

Ranko Sakota, Director of the Central Harmonisation Unit of the BiH Ministry of Finance and Treasury added “We consider particularly useful that, with the assistance of the project’s experts, we were in the position to resolve questions about the establishment of internal audit structures.

Fatima Obhođaš, Assistant Minister for the Central Harmonisation Unit of the FBiH Ministry of Finance, expressed “great satisfaction with the project, considering that it assisted the FBiH Central Harmonisation in preparing the legal framework for financial management and control”.

Radmila Trkulja, Director of the Central Harmonisation Unit of the RS Ministry of Finance added that she is “satisfied with the results achieved in introducing Public Internal Financial Control in BiH, considering them in the context of the final outcomes of project’s implementation, and taking into account that a relapse will not possible”.

The project is part of the efforts to bring the country’s laws and practices in line with European standards. The EU’s PIFC framework sets out the principles of sound financial management of public resources. 

“In spite of several challenges that remain to be addressed, the project team expects a high degree of sustainability of the results achieved, since cooperation of the beneficiaries was outstanding and motivation for the reform process was extremely high”, said Project Team Leader Ilse Schuster, pointing out that “Implementing EU best practice in financial management is a cornerstone for future economic growth“.

The project was implemented by a consortium led by the PKF Accountants & business advisers from UK.

  

KEY FACTS ABOUT PUBLIC INTERNAL FINANCIAL CONTROL

 

What does Public Internal Financial Control mean?

Public Internal Financial Control (PIFC) is the framework established by the European Commission aimed at achieving sound financial management of public resources and EU funds. PIFC includes internal audit as well as financial management and control in line with international standards and EU good practices.

What should PIFC deliver?

PIFC comprises all measures to control all government revenue, expenditure, assets and liabilities. It represents the wide sense of internal control. PIFC is about improving accountability and about spending public money better.  There is an increasing interest of tax-payers seeking re-assurance that their money is spent well and that the risks of fraud and corruption in the public sector are minimised. Managers in public office are held to be transparent in their financial decision-making and accountable for spending public funds efficiently.

EU Accession requirement

The sound and efficient management of public funds is an important condition for joining the European Union.

European Commission support reforms

The European Commission fully supports the ongoing reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina to improve sound financial management and the better delivery of services for citizens and businesses. To that end, the European Commission provides funding for expert assistance to help implementing PIFC.