The cross-border project on public finance has come to a close in the Kaliningrad region

The results of implementation of the project «Good governance and cooperation – response to common challenges in public finance» were summed up during the conference in the city of Svetlogorsk on the 10th-11th of June.

It is to be recalled that, this project was made possible in consequence of the signed agreement between the EU and Russia on the implementation of the Lithuania-Poland-Russia Cross-border Cooperation Programme. The project, developed by the regional Ministry of Finance and the municipalities of Gdansk and Gdynia, was launched in the end of 2012.

Representatives of the Ministry of Finance of Russia, more than a hundred financiers from all over Russia: from Kamchatka to Kaliningrad, as well as employees of scientific institutions working in the public sector activities took part in the closing conference.

The Minister of Finance of the Kaliningrad region Victor Porembsky made a report on the results of the project and spoke about the project inception:

– We judged from the common conception of the importance of public finance influence on the socio-economic development, as well as the need to address, if not common challenges, then similar problems in public finance on the both sides of the border – said the Minister.

The conference programme was formed by clusters reflecting the main focus areas of the project. The experts discussed separate issues in the field of the legislative and legal and regulatory support of the budget process, the development of the program-target method of management, the monitoring of the financial management system, the public procurement, the introduction of modern forms of public services delivery.

According to the Victor Porembsky, the project is implemented in full. The Kaliningrad region has implemented an approach that can be conditionally called «stepped». The preparation of analytical reports, the development of methodological base and software, training of state and municipal employees, along with the study tours and workshops in different areas of the project have been implemented sequentially. In general, the activities of the project during its implementation involved more than a thousand people – specialists of financial institutions, public and local authorities, specialists of public sector institutions.

The project partners also performed a large amount of work in the framework of the project. The municipality of Gdansk has prepared the budget forecast that considers all the financial flows of the city, has developed electronic forms of the documents. Experts from Gdynia have integrated the IT system supporting the process of capital investment planning. The analysis of best practices of external audit of financial reports of the local government was also prepared.

During the implementation of the project, our polish colleagues have developed the concept of management control system in the field of finance based on the international standards and best practices, also several trainings for public sector employees have been conducted as the separate area of project implementation; IT instrumentarium has been developed and the needful equipment has been purchased. In the framework of the PPP system the feasibility study of the investment project in Gdynia has been prepared.

The Finance Minister also said that the Tender Agency of the Kaliningrad region acted as the co-contractor of the project, the result of collaborative work led to the creation of the regional website on public procurement. Also, in consequence of the international project, the E-library on public finance (finlib.org) has been emerged. The library includes materials on planning and budget execution, budgetary investments, inter-budget relations and other subjects. The project has been launched in Russian and Polish languages.

During the implementation of the project «Good governance and collaboration -response to common challenges in public finance» the detailed technical project on creation and implementation of the information system «Electronic budget» has been developed; the required server hardware have been purchased. The software implementation appears to be the most difficult and time-consuming part. The Head of the Department of the budgetary policy and inter-budget relations Alexey Danilov elaborated on the «Electronic budget» at the conference.

In conclusion, the Minister of Finance noted that in consequence of participation in the programme of international cooperation, the region has gained invaluable experience in practical implementation of the project approach in the field of public finance; the analytical and methodological information array has been formed.

– The accumulated analytical database in the coming months will be the subject of the additional elaboration for the more systematic use in practical work that will hasten the process of improving the effectiveness of the public finance system management in all areas and at all levels of government, – added the Minister.