The final conference of the EU funded technical assistance project “Strengthening Public Financial Management in BiH” took place on July 6 at the EU Delegation building in Sarajevo.
The two-year project has contributed to the reform and rationalization of public administration in the country so to increase transparency and efficiency in the public funds spending.
The aim of the project was to support the Ministries of Finance at all levels of government in strengthening public financial management, including drafting of legislation and building capacity in the areas of internal audit and financial control. Moreover, the project introduced the program budgeting as an instrument for results-oriented public spending.
In his welcoming remarks, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to BiH, Melvin Asin emphasised that the previous Progress Reports for BiH recognized certain progress in the area of financial control but more effort has been required.
“It is particularly important to allocate sufficient staff for further development of Public Internal Financial Control in BiH and ensure coordination between the governments for a more harmonised approach”, said Mr. Asin.
“We hope that the establishment of a sound financial control system will remain a key priority, not only for the Ministries of Finance, but for all relevant institutions of the system,” he concluded.
Mr. Ranko Šakota, Director of the Central Harmonization Unit at the BiH Ministry of Finance and Treasury emphasized that the project improved the management of public finances by introducing the obligation of budget expenditure program, and, in the future, pre-defined objectives and measurement of their effects will be generated.
“Practices of EU member states in the internal audit have been introduced and it will assist managers to make decisions with minimal risk and to make multiple benefits for citizens with public funds,” he said.
Ms. Mirjana Vučić, a representative from the FBiH Ministry of Finance pointed out that thanks to active work of the Central Harmonisation Unit and Budget Sector a lot has been achieved in the past two years.
“We have strengthened the administrative capacity, and achieved a level of structural re-forms in terms of the legislative framework, which is very important for the actual implementation of the project, so that in the end we got the result of a wanted level for this pro-ject,” she stressed.
Project Team Leader, Ilse Schuster, said that this project represents a significant progress for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
„I’m extremely satisfied with the project which engaged 30 international experts and showed cooperation of all levels of government. Under the project, 780 officers in the institutions throughout government levels were trained, including 150 internal auditors,” she concluded.
The EU provided financial support in the amount of about 2 million EUR from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA 2010) for this project which was implemented by a consortium led by GFA Consulting Group from Germany together with EDA from Banja Luka and Capita HELM from UK.