Posted by Ion Chicu, World Bank, and David Tsekvava, Deputy Head of State Treasury, Ministry of Finance, Georgia
A three-day PEMPAL  Treasury Community of Practice (TCOP) workshop was held in Tbilisi, Georgia on February 27-29, 2012 on public finance reform progress related to Treasury systems and external financing. Fifty participants from ten countries attended (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan and Ukraine). Experts from the World Bank provided information on regional and international developments and technical support to the discussions. The meeting was hosted by the State Treasury of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia who proved to be warm and wonderful hosts.
The meeting followed from an earlier meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan on September 27-29, 2011 whereby more than 80 participants from 17 countries from the Bank’s Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region met to discuss progress in implementing integrated financial management information systems across the region. Many TCOP member countries are the recipients of external financing in various forms and a need was identified for a smaller group meeting to address the issues associated with the effective management of external financing. The practical problems faced in the process of integrating external financing into national budget systems are widely known. In many cases the challenges are related to the fiduciary requirements of the donor organizations. National systems do not always fully fit those requirements, which leads to the use of parallel mechanisms, such as those often established to implement donor-funded investment projects. Within the framework of public financial management (PFM) reforms, and consistent with the principles espoused by the Paris Declaration of Aid Effectiveness, PEMPAL member countries have been pursuing the objective of integrating external financing into all stages of the budget process.