Jan 16, 2023

Partnering with the CEF Has Always Been Enjoyable

Deon Tanzer has been involved in the delivery of several learning events where we discussed the relationship between government finance statistics (GFS) and the fiscal cycle, while underlining the importance of timely, accurate, and comprehensive data. Deon advises compilers in various national institutions on how to develop GFS data and data reporting, both for the IMF and the EU, in compliance with the fiscal reporting requirements (the so-called Maastricht deficit and debt and the Excessive Deficit Procedure). We were happy to talk to Deon about the highlights of working in South East Europe and our successful cooperation.

How do you see the CEF’s development in the past years? 

The CEF has developed in strides in the past years. I have been connected with the CEF since 2016 and have seen it continually evolving into an ever-updated version of itself, especially having the ability to grow in breadth and depth as a knowledge sharing center in South East Europe.

If you were to choose five words to describe our cooperation, what would they be?

In my view, the following words best describe the CEF: Exploring. Open. Engaged. Down-to-earth. Pleasurable.

You have had many opportunities to work with public officials, either as a CEF associate fellow or through your interaction as the IMF regional advisor. Can you share some of the things that you have learned or discovered about South East Europe? 

South East Europe is mostly an unknown realm to outsiders – with its reputation scarred by images of strife. I have found countries, officials, and other citizens in the region to be welcoming. What I like about people is that generally, they are clear and straightforward on how they think – it has helped me to engage in the same manner and work towards achieving shared goals. I have built a personal rapport with many people, where family, humor, food, and music are shared. It has been great to build trustworthy relationships, whereby professionally we could take good steps in technical assistance and knowledge sharing despite constrained environments. Discussion, discussion, discussion is the modus operandi, but once you have a commitment, these are upheld. One general issue that has struck me has been a varying degree of dispiriting working environment, but officials have an inherent motivation to improve their output. I enjoy traveling through beautiful landscapes and visiting lovely, historic, and interesting towns and cities. A part of my personal and professional heart is in the region to stay.

You have extensive professional experience in government finance statistics and macroeconomic issues. If you were granted three wishes concerning your professional sphere of government finance statistics and macroeconomic issues, what would they be?

  • Countries publishing comprehensive, timely, and high-quality government finance statistics…
  • … whereby governments integrate government finance statistics into fiscal and macroeconomic policy decision-making
  •  … leading to citizens having trust in government fiscal policy and thereby having more socially prosperous lives.