EU to boost Kosovo’s financial management

EU to boost Kosovo's financial management

European Agency for Reconstruction aims to keep budgets and books tight from the start, as province heads towards independence

The European Agency for Reconstruction (EAR) is trying to boost financial
discipline in the public services of Kosovo, teaching budgeting management and
drafting skills to civil servants.

The aim is to keep budgets and books tight from the start, so there are fewer
messes to clear up later by the province’s government accounting and audit
teams.

Ken Schwartz, USAID’s resident advisor to the Kosovo finance ministry, said
the 2m euro programme would help the preparation of future budgets and the
implementation of a new Public Financial Management Accountability law.

‘This project has been very valuable,’ he said. ‘It has been the lifeblood of
Kosovo’s medium-term expenditure framework.’

The EU agency’s initiative aims to train all officials involved in public
investment planning in every budget-holding state organisation across the
would-be independent province.

Over the past year-and-a-half, more than 750 bureaucrats have been trained,
many of them finance officers, some of whom already have accounting
qualifications. Project trainers are also producing a manual for budgeting
officers.

Programme manager Nadia Costantini told Accountancy Age: ‘We are teaching
them skills more sophisticated than just reading a balance sheet; areas such as
cost benefit analysis’.

The programme will be handed over from the EAR to the Kosovo finance ministry
in January.

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