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UPP Municipal Finance Self-Assessment Workshop in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Categories: Events, Workshops | Author: Maja | Posted: 9/27/2017 | Views: 7578

MFSA workshop Sarajevo

 

On September 12th, 2017, Urban Partnership Program (UPP) gathered representatives from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) cities and municipalities (municipalities of Novo Sarajevo, Odžak, Orašje, Žepče, and cities of Tuzla and Zenica) in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to discuss municipal finances and share experiences, challenges and best practices with their peers from other cities and municipalities.

 

Focus of the workshop was to present the Municipal Finance Self-Assessment (MFSA) tool to new participating municipalities. Two cities that joined MFSA family in July 2017- Tuzla and Zenica (two of the largest cities from BiH) expressed their interest to critically analyze their own financial performance with support of the UPP and by using MFSA tool. During the workshop, it was identified that one of the biggest obstacles and issues for the participating municipalities is data collection and reliability of data sources needed to carry out MFSA. Also, lack of disaggregated socio-economic data for municipal finance assessments and reviews represents significant concern for the municipalities. There are several available sources that publish consolidated data for local governments, such as Central bank of BiH, and Ministry of Finance FBiH. It was mutually agreed by all participants to use most reliable socio-economic disaggregated data published by the Federal Institute for Development Programming in order to have unified MFSA data for all local governments. With sufficient data, cities and municipalities will be able to determine the level of efficiency and effectiveness of their spending of public funds, determine priority of public investments, and be prepared for dialogue with higher level of governments (i.e. Cantons or Federation), citizens, donors, investors in public private partnership schemes (PPPs), creditors.

Second part of the Workshop was dedicated to public expenditure and financial accountability of local governments (PEFA) tool for assessing the status of public financial management (PFM) and thorough, consistent and evidence-based analysis of PFM performance. Participants expressed their interest to prepare Action Plans on how to improve their financial condition and appreciate UPP technical and capacity support to perform ratio analysis and to draft the Plans.

The cities and municipalities were very satisfied with the outcomes of this workshop and valued the opportunity to share and discuss important issues of joint interest as well as receive strategic and technical support from UPP team.

 

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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.