This final study report on “Public Administration Reform at the Local and Regional Level in the Eastern Partnership Countries: developments since 2012 in the field of decentralisation and recommendations for the future” is part of the Project ‘Short term high-quality studies to support activities under the Eastern Partnership – HiQSTEP, EuropeAid/132574/C/SER/Multi’, carried out by an international consortium under the leadership of Kantor Management Consultants.
The present study has been carried out to support the activities of Platform 1– “Democracy, Good Governance and Stability” – of the Eastern Partnership. In this regard, it is important to note that promoting good governance and decentralisation reform implementation have been identified as a priority area by the EaP Platform 1 “Democracy, Good Governance and Stability” Work Programme for the period of 2014-2017.
The DG NEAR and DG Regio are the driving forces in cooperation with EaP Countries on this theme. The present study has been implemented by the team under the leadership of Dr Vyacheslav Tolkovanov, Study Team Leader, and composed of Dr Juraj Nemec, Senior International Expert and the following national experts: Valentina Gevorgyan(Armenia), Samir Aliyev (Azerbaijan), Miroslav Kobasa (Belarus), Nelly Dolidze (Georgia), Angela Cascaval (Moldova) and Nataliya Kyrychenko (Ukraine). The overall supervision, quality check and management have been carried out by Przemysław Musiałkowski, Team Leader of the HiQSTEP Project. Sincere thanks go to the national stakeholders in all six countries who provided information through interviews and responses to questionnaires.
Local finance benchmarking (LFB) is a tool designed by the Council of Europe to contribute to improving local financial management and fiscal arrangements for local authorities in all European countries. It is based on two Recommendations of the Committee of Ministers, prepared after consultation with OECD, IMF and the World Bank. This tool has already produced good results in various other countries, such as Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ukraine. Its implementation started in Eastern Partnership countries under the Council of Europe/European Union Eastern Partnership Programmatic Co-operation Framework for 2015-2017.
This Study was prepared by a team of international and local experts. National chapters of this study come up with concrete recommendations to overcome the existing drawbacks of LFB implementation. The preparation of this study is the first step of the project. It should lead to the preparation of national Benchmarks and their implementation on a pilot basis in 2016. It is expected that, like in most other countries where this tool was implemented, it will produce real-life reforms of local financial management not only in the pilot municipalities but also in other local authorities in the participating countries.
A national policy on promoting LFB and incentives to encourage local governments to reform their financial management practice, when appropriate in the light of the results of the implementation of this
tool are important elements for the success of the reform of financial regulations and practice. Financial management benchmarking, which is not yet widespread in the region, needs to be encouraged by disseminating
success stories from the region and beyond, thus exposing decision-making representatives from both the central and local level to these good practices and creating positive incentives for reforms.
Download the study here.
Source: Council of Europe