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Enhancement of Municipal Audit for Accountability and Efficiency in Public Finance Management
Commissioning Unit: Serbia
Evaluation Plan: 2016-2020
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 12/2019
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Serbia
Documents Related to overall Management Response:  
1. Recommendation:

It is recommended to continue support and continue with the next level support for the establishment of financial control in Serbia 

Technical assistance of CHU and SAI made available through the Project should continue, in line with reform priorities and organizational needs. It is recommended to carry out a detailed assessment of needs and capacities in these organizations and the sector to identify the specific areas where support is most needed.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/06] [Last Updated: 2020/11/20]

The four-year project “Enhancement of Municipal Audit for Accountability and Efficiency in Public Finance Management” is operationally closed on 31 October 2019.  However, UNDP in Serbia continues support for the establishment and enhancement of financial management control in Serbia through the following project initiatives:

  • Public Finance Management Platform Project (funded by SIDA)
  • Enhancement of Municipal Audit for Accountability and Efficiency in Public Finance Management – (funded by SECO).

Also, UNDP is in the process of assessment of needs and capacities in the sector with aim to identify the specific areas where support is most needed, and to tailor the new prospective project proposals.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Implementation of the current projects in this area
[Added: 2020/01/06] [Last Updated: 2021/01/03]
GG Cluster – Public Finances Portfolio 2021/12 Completed Several projects covering this programmatic area (control of pubic funds) are being implemented: SECO Funded – Certification of Internal Auditors, SIDA funded - Accountable Public Finance Management Platform, etc. History
Assessment of emerging needs and capacities in the specific area. Periodic assessments / Regular monitoring through collaboration with national counterparts.
[Added: 2020/01/06] [Last Updated: 2020/08/04]
GG Cluster – Public Finances Portfolio 2020/08 Completed Collaboration with national partner (MOF-CHU) continued through implementation of the project Accountable Public Finance Management Platform where regular monitoring on the emerging needs and capacities in this specific area is maintained. History
2. Recommendation:

It is recommended to continue and expand support to the CHU to define and implement reform of the certification system of internal auditors. It is recommended to improve and modernize the method for preparing and delivering training and mentoring support.

There is a need to consider the following components:  

- Continue work on the preparation of introductory and advanced modules of the training program for internal audits. The training modules should be based on the capacity assessment needs, using adult learning technics and on-line platforms. 

- Consider expanding the mentoring support through the establishment of a capable and competent network of mentors. It will be required to define selection criteria for mentors, carry out interviews, and ensure that a pool of mentors is available. Also, it will be recommended to determine a uniform approach to mentoring for all members of the network. 

- Consider organizing regular, six-monthly, or quarterly examinations for internal auditor candidates: to meet the legal requirement for the number of internal auditors in public funds users it is recommended to organize regular six-monthly or quarterly certification exams for internal auditors.  

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/06] [Last Updated: 2020/11/20]

UNDP currently has two active projects supporting the CHU, which are supporting reform of the certification system and professionalization of internal auditors.

 

Certainly, the above-mentioned recommendations of the independent evaluator will be taken into consideration when developing a new project proposal and will cover the topics such as: advanced training programme for internal auditors, mentoring modifications (in the process of obtaining the official certification), official certification examinations, etc.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Implement properly activities of the existing projects covering segments related with training and certification
[Added: 2020/01/06] [Last Updated: 2020/11/02]
GG Cluster – Public Finances Portfolio 2020/09 Completed Several projects covering this programmatic area (control of pubic funds) are being implemented: SECO Funded – Certification of Internal Auditors, SIDA funded - Accountable Public Finance Management Platform, etc. History
Develop and fund raise new projects in this sphere (following the recommendations)
[Added: 2020/01/06] [Last Updated: 2020/08/04]
GG Cluster – Public Finances Portfolio 2020/08 Completed Accountable Public Finance Management Platform project (SIDA funded) continued to support the MOF-CHU in the sphere of public finances-internal audit. Also, the new Slovak funded project Public Finance for Development has been recently approved to support this programmatic area. Email attached History
3. Recommendation:

Analyse existing experiences with setting up joint internal audit functions and prepare specific guidance, practical tools, and models for users.

The Project is piloting some activities for the establishment of joint inter-municipal internal audits and also share internal audits between local governments and internal audits 

At the same time, based on identified problems and positive experiences, support the improvement of the regulatory and methodological framework for internal audit

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/06] [Last Updated: 2020/11/20]

The UNDP will closely monitor the two pilot cases, (municipality of Kursumlija and municipality of Backi Petrovac for inter-municipal cooperation with the municipality of Bac), in their efforts to implement joint internal audit functions. As recommended, UNDP will observe the problems, positive examples and will integrate these findings into the ongoing changes of the regulatory and methodological framework for internal audit.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Monitoring of the established municipal joint internal audits.
[Added: 2020/01/06] [Last Updated: 2021/01/03]
GG Cluster – Public Finances Portfolio 2020/12 Completed Monitoring of the established IA system performed. History
Making proposals on changes, regulatory and methodological frameworks concerning this topic.
[Added: 2020/01/06] [Last Updated: 2021/01/03]
GG Cluster – Public Finances Portfolio 2020/12 Completed New Rulebook on certification of IAs prepared and adopted History
4. Recommendation:

It is recommended to consider options and propose models for greater integration of gender priorities in new plans and interventions in public finance and the sector of financial control. 

It is recommended to consider activities and approaches that are beyond gender participation but focused more on gender transformation.  

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/06] [Last Updated: 2020/11/20]

UNDP will, when covering this particular area of public finances, focus additionally on gender priorities and tailor future programmatic interventions and activities to support this stream.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Inclusion of wider gender perspectives and priorities into the new project documents.
[Added: 2020/01/06] [Last Updated: 2020/08/04]
GG Cluster – Public Finances Portfolio 2020/08 Completed Noted and applied (to the possible extent). Bearing in mind the specifics of interventions in this programmatic area, UNDP includes gender perspectives to the possible extent in project proposals, documents and implementation plans History
5. Recommendation:

It is recommended to work on a knowledge management system related to public finance management and financial control

It is recommended to work on the codification of knowledge generated through this Project and other interventions in the areas of financial management and control and internal audit. 

At the same time, it is essential to consider ways to enhance the e-learning platform for further knowledge sharing.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/06] [Last Updated: 2020/11/20]

Within this project intervention (“Enhancement of Municipal Audit for Accountability and Efficiency in Public Finance Management”) UNDP has assisted the CHU in developing its ICT data collection and learning infrastructure capacities, i.e. the e-learning platform for knowledge codification and sharing on financial management and control and internal audit, between the CHU and relevant entities. This software was developed in a modular way, so new additional modules always can be developed and added. In the coming period, UNDP shall analyse CHU needs and shall jointly determine which direction further development shall take.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Needs assessment, proposal development and fundraising.
[Added: 2020/01/06] [Last Updated: 2021/01/03]
GG Cluster – Public Finances Portfolio 2020/12 Completed Sectoral needs analyzed, proposals developed and currently two projects are implemented (as mentioned above) in this programmatic area. History
6. Recommendation:

It is recommended to work on more active and competent participation of citizens in municipal budgeting and local policymaking processes 

Consider and define awareness-raising activities on financial management and control as an integral part of the public sector management process (especially for governance structures)

Also, it is crucial to support the strengthening of the technical capacities of civil society and the media in the area of public finances. At the same time, work to promote the importance of reform of internal financial control in the public sector

Management Response: [Added: 2020/01/06] [Last Updated: 2020/11/20]

UNDP is going to continue to support this process through the project-portfolio Accountable Public Management Platform (as envisaged in the PRODOC) through the following segments:

 

  • Strengthening transparent and project-based funding of civil society organizations (CSOs) from local government budgets towards greater civic engagement in decision-making and improvement of local service delivery;
  • The capacities of CSOs and journalists to monitor and report on corruption and misuse of public finance are improved;
  • Local Self Governments increase transparent management of public funds (development of local budget portals).

UNDP understands valuable role of media and civil society in the process of development of accountable public funds management and promotes their role in the public finance development projects.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Further promotion of importance, roles and understanding of public finance management among all relevant stakeholders and citizens.
[Added: 2020/01/06] [Last Updated: 2021/01/03]
GG Cluster 2021/09 Completed Done under the several projects, outputs and components. History

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