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UPP Municipal Finance Self-Assessment Workshop in Skopje, Macedonia

Categories: Events, Workshops | Author: Maja | Posted: 10/4/2017 | Views: 3428
February 1-3, 2017, in Skopje, Macedonia

 

On February 1-3, 2017, in Skopje, Macedonia, Urban Partnership Program (UPP) organized an Urban Audit (UA) and Municipal Finance Self-Assessment (MFSA) technical workshop. The workshop gathered representatives from five Macedonian municipalities engaged in UPP: Kocani (UA and MFSA); Kriva Palanka (UA and MFSA); Strumica (UA and MFSA); Gazi Baba (UA); and Kisela Voda (MFSA). 

Focus of the workshop was presenting the status and progress of MFSA and UA implementation in each of the Macedonian municipalities. Participants had the opportunity to present their work and results of using MFSA/UA tools, benefits as well as challenges and how to overcome them. Tools were used to prepare multi annual budgets, local economic development strategies, as well as to prioritize projects, attract domestic and foreign investors and improve the overall economic environment on local level.

During the workshop participants discussed Risk strategies, Capital Investment Planning (CIP), Local Economic Development (LED) strategies. Municipalities raised the issue of the tight budget process and budget calendar in Macedonia. Certain mitigation to the risks associated with the narrow budget calendar and the central government pass through of delays to the local government budget matters might be mitigated with preparation of proper mid-term budget framework and earlier preparation of proper strategic documents at local level. 

One of the key outcomes of the workshop was identifying the necessity to ensure the cooperation between the different sectors of Local Government to secure efficient management, especially cooperation with the public procurement sector.

Finally, all participants confirmed commitment for continuation of their use of UA and MFSA as tools for creditworthiness, efficient screening of public finances, project identification and prioritization, O&M modelling for the development part of the budget, fiscal transparency, as well as inclusion of citizens to participate in matters of local government.

The municipalities appreciated the opportunity to address and discuss important issues of joint interest and provide support to one another by sharing their experiences and learnings.




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"The MFSA tool is very useful and can help LGs assess their financial performance and look for additional financing. On the other hand, it is a huge responsibility to translate the budget into strategies that will drive LG's development",
Reisa Duraj, Head of Finance and Treasure Relations Sector of the Shkoder Municipality, Albania

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Workshops

Sarajevo, 25-26. 9. 2018

On September 25-26, 2018 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Urban Partnership Program gathered around 50 participants from cities and municipalities from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism from Montenegro, and Local Government Associations from these countries to exchange best practices and discuss solutions regarding the most important issues concerning local finances and development, in a trusting and familiar context.

The UPP has been strengthening financial management and supporting capacity building with a network of local experts in the region through the Municipal Finance Self-Assessment and related tools. In the latest UPP survey, conducted in June 2018, 67% of respondents confirmed that the MFSA helped improve the financial management of municipalities and 73% that the UPP helped access funding to finance local, national or regional urban projects. The success of the program, which has involved more than 80 municipalities and 500 practitioners and decision makers, is mainly due to regular interactive technical workshops and learning events where participants have the opportunity to discuss municipal finances and share experiences with their peers from neighboring countries and beyond.

The main focus of the workshop was the presentation of the new MFSA V2.0 application to participants after the testing phase and before its official launch. All finance experts pointed out that the tool supports local government’s decision-making process considerably, through readily visible financial management trends, possible interventions, and benchmarking. This tool can also be used for capital investment planning, debt management and presenting results to potential donors, but it also provides arguments for discussions with the ministries of finance on issues of fiscal decentralization. The MFSA V2.0 application is currently being tested with users, revised and customized, and it will soon be fully released and disseminated.

During the first day of the workshop, participants had a chance to exchange experiences on common challenges related to a number of topics, including how to design capital investment plans; citizen engagement in decision making (with special focus on participatory budgeting) which focused on showing the advantages and methods of citizen involvement for improved development results and the PEFA (Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability) methodology on which the MFSA was partly based. Finance experts led a group exercise were participants were asked to create an implementation plan for 6 selected capital projects for designated municipalities. All groups successfully completed the exercise demonstrating a different level of readiness to diversify external sources of funding for capital projects. For more information please see the full summary report.

The second day of the workshop started with sharing experiences from outside of the Western Balkans region and showcasing the model of Iller Bank in Turkey, a development bank, and its Sustainable Cities Project. Ilbank has been very successful in supporting municipalities with funding and technical assistance and the team aims to encourage municipalities in Turkey to use the MFSA for capital investment plans and to improve analysis, decision making and overall financial management. During the course of the day, participants had the opportunity to discuss systems of debt management related to fiscal decentralization (% of VAT received by municipalities), legalization processes for objects and properties, and how to establish successful models of Public Private Partnerships. Great example was given by the Mayor of City of Koprivnica, from Croatia, where the main factor of success was the excellent quality of the consultants and the precisely detailed maintenance clauses in the 25-year lease contract. The cities and municipalities appreciated the opportunity to share and discuss important issues of joint interest, compare laws and regulations, provide suggestions and support to one another, and to pose questions to the Ministries and LGA representatives in a safe environment.




PHOTO GALLERY


Documents:


DAY 1
Banja Luka PKI.pdf
CIP Funding Lj. Brdarevic.pdf
Citizen Engagement - S. Kdolsky.pdf
GRAD PANCEVO-UCESCE GRADJANA U PROCESU BUDZETIRANJA.pdf
GRAĐANSKI VODIC KROZ BUDZET 2017 GODINE.pdf
GRAĐANSKI VODIC KROZ BUDZET 2018 GODINE.pdf
MFSA-PEFA.pdf
SUBOTICA_PKI D. Rodic.pdf
UPP Survey overview.pdf

DAY 2
BEOGRAD_Upravljanje dugom R.Peric.pdf
Debt management BiH _ RS and FBIH.pdf
Ilbank PMU Presentation 26.09.2018.pdf
Ilbank Presentation 26.09.2018.pdf
JPP Gimnazija Grad Koprivnica.pdf
Legalizacija bespravnih objekata - M.Čanović.pdf
Legalizacija u Baru - D.Raicevic.pdf
Osnove javno-privatnog partnerstva - A.Bajo.pdf
PPPs in Serbia Lj. Brdarevic.pdf


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