BCOP held its annual plenary meeting where all its 21 member countries were invited to Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic from April 12-14,2017. The key objectives of the meeting on 'tools for fiscal management' was to share PEMPAL and international good practice in the use of fiscal management tools with a focus on fiscal risks management; program and performance budgeting; and budget literacy and transparency. The meeting provided the opportunity for BCOP member countries to exchange experiences and discuss possible approaches and options to using some of these tools.
Presentations were delivered by the World Bank, IMF, IBP, and GIFT with PEMPAL country case studies of Bulgaria, Croatia, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Ukraine, and Moldova examined. Updates from BCOP's two working groups, who meet more regularly to progress key reforms and solve common reform challenges, were also provided.
The Program and Performance Budgeting Working Group has been participating in OECD's Performance Budgeting Survey and the preliminary survey results were reviewed during the plenary meeting including identifying good practice and examining performance against OECD countries. The Budget Literacy and Transparency Working Group has recently finalized its first draft of a Knowledge Product that identifies challenges of PEMPAL countries in constructing Citizens' Budgets (which were not common in the region when the work was initiated). The knowledge product provides a menu of feasible options to address challenges being experienced by member countries - drawn from their own peer advice and available international advice. International country case study, Brazil was examined during the plenary meeting given its good performance in public participation in the Open Budget Survey (OBS). PEMPAL country case study, Kygryz Republic, was also examined, given it is leading in the region in the OBS in this evolving indicator, that aims to measure the participation of citizens in the budget process.