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In the framework of the closing event of the EU funded twinning project Mr Arben Ahmetaj, Minister of Finance of Albania, Ms Romana Vlahutin, Ambassador of the European Union, Mr Johann Sattler, Ambassador of Austria, Mr Bernard Fitoussi, Ambassador of France and Mr Raymond Hill, European Commission, DG Budget and the twinning partners the Ministry of Finance of Austria and the Ministry for Economy and Finance of France attended the discussion on Responsible use of public funds organised at the Faculty of Economics, University of Tirana.
The twinning project with Euro 2.5 million funding from the EU has been implemented by Austria and France with the support of 90 experts of from Netherlands, Croatia, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovenia and Belgium. The overall objective of the twinning was to contribute to the effective, efficient, transparent and accountable use of public funds.
Over the last 27 months period the project supported the Ministry of Finance and seven pilot institutions which are Ministry of Education and Sports, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, Municipalities of Shkodra, Berat, Pogradec and Korça in the implementation of a modern Finance Management and Control System through the implementation of financial management and control tools and manuals, excel based financial planning and reporting tool, risk registers, book of processes, audit trails and annual control plan. It also assisted the Internal Audit service in the public sector in setting out and applying rules and procedures and training 300 senior auditors and Heads of Internal Audit units. Support was provided to build up the Public Financial Inspection function in order to protect the financial interests of public entities against serious financial mismanagement, fraud, misuse of power or corruption.
The assistance, which also supported the implementation of public financial management strategy 2014-2020, increased the skills of those responsible for budgetary management and control through procedures which ensure greater transparency, delegation of authority and managerial accountability in the decision making process as well as delivery of results and performance on public spending.
Within the framework of the EU accession process under Chapter 32 Financial Control the EU promotes the reform of national governance systems to enhance managerial accountability and sound financial management of income and expenditure.
Twinning is an instrument for cooperation between public administrations of EU Member States and of candidate countries with the aims to share good practices developed within the EU and to foster long-term relationships between administrations of existing and future EU countries.