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main  » News» A regular workshop of the Public Expenditure Management Peer-Assisted Learning network in public financial management (PEM PAL) was held printer friendly
A regular workshop of the Public Expenditure Management Peer-Assisted Learning network in public financial management (PEM PAL) was held 17 November 2010

From 14th until 19th October 2010 in Bled (Slovenia), the 7th workshop of the Public Expenditure Management Peer-Assisted Learning (PEM PAL) was held. Representatives of 17 countries in Europe and Central Asia: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey, Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyz Republic and Ukraine as well as CEF and SIGMA participated in it.

Community of Practice (PEM PAL) was initiated in 2005 to enhance domestic capacity in the field of public expenditure and financial management and unites countries of Central Asia and Eastern Europe. PEM PAL is supported by the World Bank, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, the Ministry of International Development of the United Kingdom (DEID), the Treasury of USA and other international organizations. PEM PAL Secretariat is located in the Center of Excellence in Finance (CEF) in Slovenia.

Previous workshops were conducted in Slovenia (2006, 2009), Moldova (2007), Turkey (2008), Armenia (2009) and Ukraine (2010). The purpose of these workshops is to bring together leading governmental officials in internal audit from European and Central Asian countries to share their experiences.

Director of the Department of Organizational Operations of the MainCRO Serhiy Chornutskiy and Head of the Public Internal Financial Control Harmonization Department – Head of the Central Harmonization Unit (hereinafter – the CHU) of Ukraine Maksim Tymokhin represented Ukraine at this event.

At the official opening of the seminar participants were welcomed by Tomislav Mičetić – Chief Audit Executive, Senko Maver – representative of the World Bank and Joop Vrolijk – the representative of SIGMA.

Participants of the first workshop, held on 14th-15th October, discussed the features of content and process of implementation and use of manuals (guidelines) on internal audit.

Croatia presented the third version of the internal audit manual, development of which was begun in 2004. Aforementioned document includes detailed description of all internal audit processes beginning with legal ensuring of an activity of internal auditors, planning of the process, objectives of an activity, procedures, quality assurance, sharing of responsibilities, reporting, cooperation with the CHU and so on.

The manual on internal audit presented by Moldovian colleagues has a similar structure.

After discussion of the presentations and comments of all contributors of the workshop participants agreed the need of establishment of a unique internal audit manual for the public sector which could be applied or adapted in each country depending on the specifics of legislation.

Representatives of SIGMA emphasized that the manual should not be very voluminous as in Albania (more than 600 pages). It should have no more than 100 pages. But the standards and procedures registered there should be laconic, clear and understandable.

During the second workshop (18th – 19th October) the main attention of participants was paid to the training of internal auditors.

For example, in Croatia training process of internal auditors consists of five modules, including internal audit in the system of internal control, financial audit and the workshop – simulation, etc. Duration of training is five weeks. It is interesting that while coming up to the training course no strict condition concerning knowledge or specific experience in internal audit exists.

Employees of the CHU are as trainers in the training process. After completion of course every of applicants passes an exam of 100 questions. For successful pass of the exam they need to answer correctly on 60 of them. In addition, future internal auditor should conduct 2 audits under the supervision of two employees of the CHU and only then he/she receives a certificate valid only in the public sector of the central level.

In Albania at the first stage a model of training of internal auditors was created. It is counted on 70 hours of training time and consists of four modules: legislation, accounting, corporate management and reporting, internal audit. Today the CHU of Albania is discussing a new strategy on training of internal auditors. It should be noted that the CHU of Albania has a separate budget for training of internal auditors.

Also, experts from Kosovo presented their model of training of internal auditors, which is similar to Albanian.

After discussion, representatives of SIGMA made their comments and gave opinions concerning they have heard. They criticized that presented models have liabilities concerning knowledge of all financial laws, detailed knowledge of basic account regulations and theoretical information without practical component, short term of training etc.

Therefore, representatives of SIGMA focused an attention of participants of the workshop on the best practices of training, namely: the concentration of training on practice, ability to work with regulatory base, gaining of skills on writing of reports. They also emphasized that the profession of internal auditor requires international certification.

CONCLUSIONS:

1. Measures that Ukraine takes to build a system of public internal financial control respond to the best European practice.

2. Ukrainian experience has many similarities with the experience of other countries, including the following:

- wider range of objects which for the public internal financial control. They are not only the central executive authorities (ministries and budget institutions subordinated to them), but regional and local authorities;

- at first approval of the secondary legislation and methodologies which should be tested in practice (including during pilot projects), and laws afterwards;

- the CHU plays the leading role in reforming of public financial control.

PROPOSITIONS:

1. To take into account gained experience in the course of the further implementation of measures on reformation of public internal financial control.

2. To approve Manuals on internal control and internal audit.

3. To test Manuals on internal control and internal audit during pilot projects at the central and regional level.

4. To develop training programs on internal audit and internal control.