Feb 23, 2015

SPB Newsfeed: Improved Capacities in Budget Planning at Kosovo Line Ministry

The CEF training events have helped me improve my capacities in budget planning at a budget intensive line ministry, and have given me an opportunity to learn about the best budgeting practices in other countries of the region.

In 2014, I attended three CEF workshops delivered under the SPB project in the fields of macroeconomic economic policy analysis, program budgeting, policy evaluation, spending review, and budget submissions of line ministries. I felt a need to learn more about these areas through comparing and exchanging best practices with my colleagues in South East Europe.

At my ministry, there are several technical issues that require attention, and I am glad to say that the CEF workshops addressed these issues well. For example, when we received the requests from the budget organizations of the ministry, instead of looking at them one by one, we decided to gather and work in groups so that each budget organization could understand the needs of others and the allocations could be done in a better way.

The workshop on Budget Submissions of Line Ministries made me better understand the main challenges in budgeting at my ministry and other line ministries in the region. At the workshop we did budget negotiation simulations between a Ministry of Finance and line ministries, and learned about the best budgeting practices in developed countries. That helped me strengthen my capacities in countering bottlenecks, such as papers submitted very late in the budget process, and I learned practices that are used to eliminate such bottlenecks. As a result, I have decided to communicate more often with the budget organizations under my supervision, so that they could feel my support.

The workshops strengthened confidence in my daily work. I can now manage time more efficiently and perform better at my job. For example, I make a to-do list at the beginning of each day, outlining the priorities, in order not to forget anything.

The frequent reflections on our learning experience during the coursework have helped me prepare for back-to-office reporting. After returning from the training events to the ministry I shared the newly gained knowledge with my colleagues, for instance on the issue of allocation with priorities and lateness in Medium-term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) submission. My colleagues showed much interest in my learning experience and found ways to relate it to their own work.

Thus, the CEF training events have been very useful for me, as I benefited from discussions about late submission of MTEF and budget requests, among other topics, with the goal of identifying and resolving the various issues related to budgeting.

Kushtrim Kozmaqi
Budget Officer
Ministry of Education, Science and Technology