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UPP Municipal Finance Self-Assessment Workshop in Prcanj, Montenegro

Categories: Events, Workshops | Author: Maja | Posted: 9/27/2017 | Views: 8273

On June 14-15, 2017 in the small town of Prcanj (bay of Boka Kotorska) in Montenegro Urban Partnership Program gathered around 30 participants from 12 Serbian and Montenegrin cities and municipalities (including Belgrade, Sabac, Pancevo, Nis, Subotica, Mojkovac, Pljevlja, Tivat, Bijelo Polje, Kotor, Budva and Bar), joined together with the representative from the Montenegro Ministry of Finance and Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities (Local Government Association) of Serbia to discuss municipal finances and share experiences with their peers from neighboring country.

 

Main focus of the workshop was presenting the current status and progress in each of the two respective countries and participating cities/municipalities. During the course of the workshop participants had the opportunity to discuss financial positions, key indicators and action plans. While in Montenegro more than half of the total number of municipalities have been engaged in Municipal Finance Self-Assessment (MFSA) process in Serbia so far eight cities and municipalities have been working on it. Both capital cities of Belgrade and Podgorica have been using the tool for several years now. So far both countries have developed Action plan for all participating municipalities and will present their work in the upcoming City to City Dialogue (to be organized in Macedonia in the Fall 2017). Second part of the workshop was dedicated to the Capital Investment Planning, including basic functions, key steps as well as criteria to be followed when selecting projects.

 

The cities and municipalities appreciated the opportunity to share and discuss important issues of joint interest and compare laws and regulations, provide suggestions and advice to one another and to pose questions to the Ministry and LGA representatives in a safe environment.

 

At the end of the second day, the group visited Porto Montenegro (Tivat) as one of the most successful investment examples in Montenegro. Participants had the opportunity to hear and learn more about the history of the project, investments and upcoming developments from the representative of Porto Montenegro.





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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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INTEGRITY BUILDING (IB)

In many countries, corruption is one of the main obstacles on the path to sustainable social and economic development. A recent global survey by Transparency International (TI) identified corruption as a significant public concern in SEE and curbing corruption has become a high priority for many of the region’s national and local governments.

To address the concerns about the effects of corruption on the health of city and municipal governments and the shared aspirations of mayors and other municipal leaders from SEE countries for making municipal governments more transparent and accountable and, ultimately, better performers, UPP launched the Urban Governance and Anticorruption Capacity Building initiative in February 2012. Local governments from seven SEE countries applied for the program “Cities without Corruption–Cities with a Future” organized under the UPP by the World Bank. The Program enabled local governments to participate in an innovative process to improve the quality of municipal services, to enhance the efficiency, transparency, accountability, and integrity of public service delivery, and to strengthen citizens’ trust.

This participatory process starts by assessing vulnerabilities to corruption in local governments as measured by its level of dysfunction and seeks to enhance collaborative governance by engaging Mayors and their teams in coalition building to improve accountability, transparency, and the efficiency of local government, and ultimately improve trust of citizens–the very foundations of sustainable urban development.

The participatory process, which is conducted by the local governments, follows a strategic planning methodology, moving from diagnosis to solutions formulation and implementation. The process involves city leaders, managers and staff, as well as external stakeholders, who diagnose their organizations’ vulnerability to corruption analytically, and with the support of skilled anticorruption practitioners.

Integrity Building initiative aims to go beyond compliance-based mechanisms and

(i) Empower public leaders to both act and build integrity in their organizations together with others;
(ii) Increase the individual integrity competence of public leaders and contribute to the leadership that meets the expectations of the employees, clients and citizens in a fast changing environment;
(iii) Build a culture of integrity in local governments.

Since 2012, ten municipalities in the SEE region have applied this methodology with 13 new municipalities ready to join the Program.

The second phase of UPP introduced the Integrity Leadership Training Program (ILTP). ILTP aims at empowering leaders to both act and build integrity in their organizations together with others. The purpose of such a training program is to increase the individual integrity competence of public leaders and contribute to the leadership that meets the expectations of the employees, clients and citizens in a fast changing environment.