Doing Our Part for Better Asset Management and Anti-Corruption Practices
The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and the CEF are jointly hosting an international public finance conference for a second consecutive year. The conference provides a platform for exchanging expert knowledge, experience, best practice, and recommendations to public sector accountants and auditors, both regionally and globally. Participants from 48 countries attending this year's event addressed change management, transformation, and decision-making issues for systems of governance, with a particular focus on the quality and sustainability of public services.
We were honored to have Ms. Delina Ibrahimaj, the Minister at the Ministry of Finance and Economy, Albania, at the conference Making Government Services Work Better for Citizens presenting the country's reforms in recent years, especially in the area of public financial management. In her keynote address, Ms. Ibrahimaj explained: «We have worked hard to simplify business procedures, enhancing the regulatory framework in line with international best practices, as well as undertaking comprehensive structural reforms to improve relevant legislation in a number of sectors. In the area of public financial management reforms, one of the main goals of the Ministry of Finance and Economy is the continuous support towards public entities in strengthening the internal control system and improving financial reporting, in order to increase the transparency in the use of public funds as well as to improve the quality of information submitted by public institutions.»
Focusing on anti-corruption, Mr. Mike Driver, CIPFA President, shared why it is important to invest in it: « The poorest within a country, and across countries, are always the hardest hit in these real-world scenarios. Governments everywhere will need to find innovative ways of addressing these challenges and the impact on all parts of the public sector will be significant. Against this backdrop, it matters more than ever that public money (and by extension public assets and services) is better managed, and with fewer resources to start with. It’s also equally important that those resources are protected from corrupt behavior and activities. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that corruption is at the heart of many of the world’s problems.»
Jana Repanšek, CEF Director, addressed the ways to enhance the processes leading to better assets management: «Several countries have seen the need to improve the management of publicly-owned assets and to ensure relevant accountability to the public. However, the management of these assets is still not optimal compared to more traditional areas like public budgeting or public administration. This explains the striking mismatch between the many benefits that good asset management can generate and the little attention it has so far received. The importance of assets in the assessment of the financial position of governments has been so far largely unrecognized.»
Joining as the keynote speaker was also H.E. Mr. Peter Japelj, the ambassador of Slovenia to Albania. In his speech, he touched on the 30 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries: «On this occasion, I would like to congratulate Albania for taking over the Governing Board of the Centre of Excellence in Finance and I wish the Governor of Banka of Albania Gent Sejko all the best in his endeavors Allow me to mention that this year Slovenia and Albania are celebrating 30 years of diplomatic relations. I can state with satisfaction that throughout these years, the two countries developed friendly relations based on mutual cooperation and trust. The ties between Slovenia and Albania are a testimony of our common European history and a link to our shared future in the European Union.»
Singing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the CEF and the State Audit Office of the Republic of North Macedonia
The end of the conference was followed by the signing of the MoU between CEF and the State Audit Office (SAO) of the Republic of North Macedonia. The MoU gives a formal basis for the continued cooperation of joint activities between the institutions to advance high-quality public financial management. Three key elements of the collaboration are:
- Advocacy, promoting each other’s services and work, sharing best practices, and facilitating introductions to other stakeholders or partners
- Collaborating on courses, training, and qualifications to improve skills and capacity
- Collaborating on joint activities in the region
The MoU was signed also between the SAO and CIPFA. Present at the signing were Ms. Jana Repanšek, CEF Director, Maksim Acevski, Auditor General, SAO, and Mike Driver, CIPFA President.