Thursday, June 18, 2009 - 13:45

The Consultancy on Regional Internal Audit Training and Certification report provides a detailed opinion in regard to the assumptions, potential risks and recommendations of the proposals of the training and certification programs (T&CP) provided by professional
associations including:

  • a detailed overview of their advantages and disadvantages against a defined set of criteria in regard to the situation and needs of internal audit in the region;
  • an understanding of how the respective T&CP that are proposed fit into the wider context of building up a professional internal audit function in the region of which the T&C is only one necessary part;
  • the financial implications of the proposals in a medium-term (3 years) for governments as well as the need of external financing;
  • a clear information on the time frame.

Report on Regional Internal Audit Training and Certification


Prepared by Frédéric Chetcuti
Commissioned by InWEnt under the PEMPAL program

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 - 11:00
The PEFA Work Group held its fourth Video Conference (VC) meeting on Wednesday, May 13, 2009.  In addition to Georgia, countries that participated in the meeting were Kosovo, Montenegro, and Moldova.  
The focus of the meeting was to finalize the work group report.  The report was developed using the survey results, the case studies, information provided by the PEFA Secretariat, and information from the deliberations during the prior meetings of the work group. 
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 10:00
Friday, February 20, 2009

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Meeting Summary 


The PEFA Work Group (WG) held its third video conference (VC) meeting on February 20, 2009.  The meeting was video cast from the Center for Excellence in Finance in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  Representatives from the following countries participated in the VC:


  • Georgia
  • Belarus
  • Moldova
  • Armenia
  • Montenegro
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Ukraine
  • Tajikistan
Members of the Budget Community of Practice (BCOP) Steering Committee also participated in the VC including Ms. Nina Lupan, Mr. Nicola Vukicevic, and Mr. Papuna Petriashvili as well as Mr. Richard Bartholomew the Head of the PEMPAL Secretariat.  Also participating in the meeting from the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC was Mr. Frans Ronsholt, Head of the PEFA Secretariat.


Ms. Liana Skhirtladze, Chair of the Work Group opened by welcoming the participants and reviewing the meeting agenda.  The prior minutes were reviewed with no comment or suggested changes from the participants.

The WG was very fortunate and honored to have Mr. Ronsholt, Head of the PEFA Secretariat, participating in the VC.  Mr. Ronsholt gave a presentation entitled “Recent Developments of the PEFA Program.”  A copy of the full presentation is attached.  Some highlights included the following:

  • To date more than 100 PEFA assessments have been completed with baseline report completed for 90 countries.
  • The intended use of PEFA reports is to track performance on changes over time; prioritization of reforms; and peer learning.
  • Similarly Countries have and/or can use the PEFA framework to inform on needed PFM reforms; monitoring the results of reform efforts; a comparing to and learning from peers.
  • PEFA is preparing a report on the use of PEFA reports in reform formulation which will include country case studies.  The Secretariat welcomes and volunteers for the case studies. 
  • Case studies were presented on both Mozambique and the Norway. Mozambique completed its baseline assessment in 2005, a repeat assessment in 2007, and will do a planned follow-up in 2010.  Improvements between 2005-2007 were made in revenue administration, cash management, and internal controls.  Norway completed its assessment in December of 2007. 
  • It was noted that although the PEFA Framework was primarily developed for in-country use there appeared to be wide interest amongst researchers, donors, and governments to do comparisons amongst countries. 
  • A Monitoring Report will be completed in mid-2009 which will provide trends in the use of the framework and an assessment of quality as well as provide input for the technical maintenance of the framework.

In responding to questions, Mr. Ronsholt noted the following:

  • It is an individual country’s decision as to whether or not the PEFA Assessment is made public and/or posted on the PEFA Website. 
  • To prepare for a PEFA Assessment a country should form and train a team of its officials.  The officials should be stakeholders in the project. 
  • Country teams should do as much of the assessment themselves as possible.
  • An assessment, whether done internally or independently will have greater successes if it has strong governmental leadership.

Moldova Case Study

Ms. Liuba Ivanciucova (Ministry of Finance of Moldova) provided an excellent presentation on Moldova’s experience in completing the PEFA Assessment. The first assessment was conducted in 2006 with the second completed in 2008.  Both assessments were coordinated by the Ministry of Finance. Having completed two assessments Moldova was able to evaluate progress in making reforms.  Overall, ten indicators experienced an improved score while two received lower scores.  

Moldova noted the following advantages of PEFA:

  • It provides complex background information
  • Identifies issues that need to be addressed by the government
  • Tracks progress on reforms
  • Forms the bases for recommendations for maintaining and improving scores.

Disadvantages of PEFA that were noted included the following:

  • Some of the scoring methodologies are incomprehensible, with PI 3 and 25 noted as examples;
  • Countries with IMF programs may be at a disadvantage because estimates must be more conservative.
  • There is little flexibility in scoring when there is disagreement about improvements.
  • Although indicators D1-D3 are for donors they still affect the country’s image. 

The main achievements in Moldova were as follows:

  • Budget formulation was improved though revisions to the budget calendar and more consistency between the budget and the Medium term plan.
  • Internal auditing
  • Chart of accounts and budget classifications
  • Single Treasury Account.
  • Improved treasury operations.

PEFA Surveys

At the time of the meeting it was reported that only three completed surveys had been received.  (However four additional surveys were received during the meeting).  A summary of the survey results will be distributed shortly.  

Next Steps

Ms. Skhirtladze closed the meeting by identifying the following as next steps:

Completion of case studies

  • Circulation of a proposed outline for the WG report
  • Circulation of survey results to the WG for comments.
  • Drafting of the WG report

The next Work Group meeting will focus on finalizing the report.

Monday, March 9, 2009 - 09:30
The BCOP Executive Committee (EC) met in Ljubljana, Slovenia from February 19 to 21, 2009. 

Highlights of the meeting include:

  • A revised BCOP Action Plan for 2009.  Please note the upcoming events, especially the OECD SBO meeting in St. Petersburg from June 25 to 26. This will be the best opportunity for BCOP members to see and talk with each other during 2009. Senior Budget Officers will soon be invited to come to this event.  Please be sure to attend.
  • Valentyna Doletska from Ukraine was elected 3rd Vice Chair. Samat Kiljiev became 2nd Vice Chair. Maksim Ermolovich is 1st Vice Chair. Papuna Petriashvili became the Chair for 2009.
  • The Rules of BCOP were changed to allow all previous Chairs to remain on the Executive Committee. Also, each ministry is requested to appoint a representative to the Executive Committee if your ministry is not already represented. This means that Uzbekistan, Armenia, Bosnia, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo are invited to appoint new representatives to the Executive Committee. Rano Zabirova from Tajikistan was the first person to join the EC under this new rule.
  • The EC joined in a video conference and other activities with BCOP's PEFA Working Group (PWG), which has been exploring this topic for several months.  Separate reports are available on the web pages about the PWG.
  • Excellent presentations were given in Russian on the experiences of Armenia's program budget efforts (by Suren Pohgosyan and Mark Worledge); and Moldova's experiences with MTEF (by Natalia Sclearuc). The presentations were followed by additional member discussions.
  • The EC set aside travel money for ministry staff to attend the CEF training seminar on MTEF in April. This seminar will be delivered in English only. The allocation will only pay for the first 4 or 5 persons to travel to Ljubljana.  Ministries should consider sending staff at ministry expense.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009 - 14:45

At the end of 2008 PEM PAL conducted a survey of all the budget specialists who participated in PEM PAL activities at the Vilnius, Tbilisi and Istanbul meetings of the Budget Community of Practice (BCOP). Below are survey results.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008 - 13:00

The first PEFA Work Group (PWG) meeting was held on November 19, 2008 at 14:00 Georgian time. In addition to Georgia, representative from the following countries participated in the meeting:

  • Montenegro
  • Kosovo
  • Kyrgyzstan

Chairperson of the Work PWG is Ms. Liana Skhirtladze who is an MTEF advisor to the Georgian Ministry of Finance.  She began the meeting by reviewing the agenda. No modifications to the agenda were made.  The following is a summary of the meeting.

Work Group Goals

The following proposed objectives of the work group were presented:

  • Document the experience of BCOP Countries in using PEFA
  • Committee participants
  • Survey information from BCOP participants
  • Use information from PEFA Secretariat
  • Identify formal and informal ways to use PEFA to implement and measure public finance improvements
  • Report to BCOP
  • Findings
  • Recommendations
  • Make a presentation at PEMPAL Annual Meeting
  • Post a report on the PEMPAL BCOP website in April 2009

When asked, the PWG had no additions or modifications to the Goals.  By consensus participants agreed that these should be the goals.


It was agreed that the group would try to complete its work by April of 2009 and that there should be monthly or more frequent meetings based upon need. 

Meeting Logistics

Tim Grewe, US Treasury Advisor to the Georgian Ministry of Finance explained that he and Marika Gorgadze, a US Treasury Financial Specialist in Georgia,  would provide staff support including circulating minutes for each meeting, and completing necessary work requested by the committee.  They will also coordinate with CEF and the World Bank in scheduling future Video Conferences.  They indicated that meetings would be conducted in English but that if other countries join the group requiring Russian that would be arranged. 

Meeting Participants

Chair Skhirtladze asked whether or not participation in the PWG should be expanded to other BCOP participants.  After discussion it was agreed that it would be good to have other countries participating.  An invitation letter will be drafted and sent out to other BCOP participants by the Chair.


The Chair asked participants to comment on whether a survey of all BCOP participants on their experience with PEFA might be useful in achieving the WPG goals and providing useful information to the BCOP.  After discussion the group indicated that such a survey should be done. They also indicated that the survey should be posted on the BCOP web site and also be sent out to participants by e-mail in the hopes of increasing the number of responses.   In addition, the group indicated that it would be beneficial to post PEFA reports on the BCOP web site. 

Reports from Participants

Chair Skhirtladze asked each Country to summarize their experience with PEFA.  The following is summarizes the response from each country:

  • Kosovo. Completed its first PEFA Assessment in April of 2007.  The report was completed in partnership with World Bank and European Union consultants.  The report has been accepted by the government.  It is being used as a starting point in developing a Public Management Reform Plan.   While the report does identify some weaknesses, overall it came out better then expected.  They believe the report will be very useful.  Because the analysis for the report was done for year preceding 2007 progress has already been made in addressing findings.  As a result they expect to see improvements in scores in the next assessment which is scheduled for 2009.
  • Montenegro.  Montenegro is in the process of completing its first assessment and the report is anticipated to be issued in late December.   They believe it has been a useful process that will be of value to the government in improving financial management systems.  In their case,  PEFA has been used in two different ways.  The first step was that the government used the tool to conduct a self-assessment.  Following that, they completed the assessment using independent consultants.  The findings of the self-assessment and the independent assessment were very similar.
  • Kyrgyzstan.  The first assessment was completed in 2006 using the independent consultants using funded by the World Bank.  The Ministry of Finance used the report to develop an action plan in response to the PEFA report.  The action plan is now outdated and it is expected that the second PEFA Assessment will be conducted next year. 
  • Georgia.  Georgia first used the PEFA evaluation tool to conduct self-assessments of it budget systems and format.  The initial self-assessment conducted in 2006 was used to improve the budget circular, the format, and content of the annual budget law, the budget calendar, and public access to budget information.  Following the approval of the budget a second self-assessment was conducted which showed significant improvement in the PEFA scores.  This same process was repeated for the 2007 and 2008 budget cycles.  In 2008 Georgia agreed to work with the World Bank and the European Commission to conduct an independent PEFA Assessment.  The findings from that assessment have been used to update the Public Expenditure Reform Action Plan.  Both the PEFA Report and the updated Action Plan will be presented in early January to international agencies.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Chair Skhirtladze asked for comments on the strengths and weaknesses of PEFA based upon the experiences of each country.  The following summarize the various responses:

  • Overall the experience in using PEFA was favorable and all considered it to be a valuable tool particularly in preparing action plans for financial reforms. 
  • Plans need to be monitored and regularly updated.  PEFA needs to be institutionalized, being conducted on a periodic basis to measure progress with financial reforms.
  • In terms of the methodology used by PEFA it may be too micro in orientation.  That is, it focuses on operational issues rather then overall country performance. 

Kosovo asked if each country had a permanent work group responsible for PEFA.  Montenegro responded that they had work groups for both the self-assessment and independent assessment.  Kyrgyzstan responded that they established a work group consisting of individuals that are functionally responsible for completing the assessment.  Georgia response that they had two work groups for completing the self-assessment,  one focused on the budget process and one focused on the budget format.  Georgia also indicated that a work group consisting of all relevant agencies was formed to work with consultants on the independent assessment and to review and respond to the draft report.  The resulting Public Finance Reform Plan is monitored by the MOF department heads.  Kosovo responded indicating that while they have a work group it is not permanent.

Summary of Work Group Discussion

The following summarizes the key points of the work group discussion:

  • Generally the experience with PEF has be favorable and PEFA is a valuable tool in planning pubic finance reforms.
  • Typically a work group of governmental officials is used in managing the assessment whether it is a self-assessment or a independent assessment.
  • PEFA needs to be institutionalized in order to effectively evaluate progress in executing reforms and in benchmarking against the practices of other countries.
  • Countries participating in the work group are at various phases in their experience with PEFA. Some are just completing their first assessment. Others are preparing to conduct their second assessment.
  • PEFA may be too micro in its orientation.

Next Steps

  • A survey on the experience of countries in using PEFA will be prepared and reviewed by the work group prior to distribution.  The survey will be posted on the BCOP web site and sent out to BCOP members via e-mail. 
  • PEFA Reports previously completed will be collected and if possible made available on the BCOP web site.
  • The PEFA Secretariat will be asked to give a status report on PEFA at the next PWG meeting in January.
  • Minutes of the PWG meeting will be sent to all participants in the meeting.
  • The agenda for the next PWG will be sent out in advance of the next meeting.
  • Research will be conducted to try to identify a “best practice” country both in completing assessment and effectively applying PEFA findings to execute financial system reforms. 
  • Other BCOP countries will be invited to join the work group.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008 - 09:00

DRI of Montenegro invites SAIs from the ECA region to a regional seminar

Representatives from SAIs from the ECA region came together from the 22 to 24 October in Pržno, Montenegro for a regional seminar on “Human Resource Management in Supreme Audit Institutions” to discuss the role of human resources in public external audit. Tasked with the external audit of public finances and government performance, Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) can only be as good as the quality of the staff they employ. Conscious of this pivotal role played by human resources in public external audit, participants from the SAIs of Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Croatia, Georgia, Kyrgyz, Moldavia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia exchanged ideas and experiences on staff management and development. Further inputs were given by SAI and Human Resource Management (HRM) experts from the German Federal Court of Audit, the Riksrevisionen of Sweden and the CEF. The seminar was hosted by the Državna Revizorska Institucija (DRI) of Montenegro and organised by the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) GmbH.

Auditors, Audit Institutions and the management of change 

The seminar focused on three issues in particular. First, the unique and complex qualifications SAIs demand from their Auditors. Instruments for assessing, recruiting and continuously training SAI staff in light of these requirements were presented from SAIs in the Region and from Dr. Lars Friege from the German Federal Court of Audit. Second, the impacts and implications human resources bring for SAIs as organisations. SAIs rely on the performance of their knowledge workers to fulfil their role in the governance of the public sector and the country in general. Putting HRM into its context, Mr. Lage Olofsson from the Riksrevisionen of Sweden outlined a framework linking staff performance to the criteria of a well performing SAI as outlined by the Lima Declaration of 1977, whose principles are shared by SAIs around the world. Third, the contextual requirements for both Auditors and SAIs operating in a complex, changing environment were emphasised by Dr. Igor Šoltes, President from the Court of Audit of Slovenia, and Mrs. Zdenka Vidovič of the CEF in a shared presentation on knowledge management. They urged SAIs to embrace both the fluid nature of their task and the human qualities of their auditors in their day-to-day work. By this, SAIs themselves become agents of change for better financial governance as noted by GTZ senior public governance expert Roland von Frankenhorst in closing of the seminar.             

Peer learning to develop capacities of SAIs for Human Resource Management

The complex picture of HRM needs and opportunities of SAIs that was drawn in Pržno served as a basis to explore options for regional exchange, the sharing of expertise and peer learning among the SAIs of the ECA countries. In his opening speech, Mr. Miroslav Ivanisevic, President of the DRI of Montenegro, set the main theme for the seminar by underlining the value of pooling the experience and knowledge from the region through an International Education Centre that would serve the diverse needs of SAIs in training their auditing and management staff. The advantages of combining the methodological and management know-how from different SAIs for a comprehensive, quality education of auditors were laid out in further detailed by the DRI during the seminar. Mr. Nikola Vikićević, head of the Budget CoP, laid out the good experiences by PEMPAL had in the last years in creating options for regional peer learning and benchmarking of performances for on-the-job challenges of experts from different institutions of public finance. Given the complex and specific challenges SAIs face, the open exchange among professional peers from the region offers promising opportunities to improve external audit capacities in the coming years.


Monday, June 16, 2008 - 12:45

PEM PAL is organizing the Meeting of the Members of the Executive Committees of the Communities of Practice to be held in Ljubljana, Slovenia from July 1 to July 3, 2008. 

The goal of the meeting, which is being sponsored by the PEM PAL, is to discuss goals, ideas, and expectations of the members of the PEM PAL Communities of Practice (CoP), their leaders as well as PEM PAL donors. During the meeting we plan to analyze the needs the CoP leaders have to make their CoPs successful. The meeting in Ljubljana will be the follow-up of the meeting held in Istanbul, Turkey from 24 to 28 February, 2008.