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Public Finance and Procurement: A Preview of the new MaTra RoLT Training

10 February 2021

We are looking for civil servants from Albania, Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine, with responsibilities in public finance management and public procurement to partake in the upcoming Public Finance and Procurement training!

As part of this years’ MaTra Rule of Law Training programme, the training shall enable participants to learn from leading Dutch academics, practitioners and institutions in the field of public procurement and public finance management. By addressing what a healthy state of public finance requires, looking into the management of government spending, revenues, loans and debts and the necessary key values that should accompany public finance, participants are encouraged to reflect on the situation in their own country, to identify areas for reform and to nurture exchange on practices in other countries. In this regard, the training will be conducted by, among others, Alfonso Garcia Salaues, an associate expert with the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten, VNG).

Garcia Salaues’ specialisation is Decentralisation and Local Development and he has “been working for more than 20 years on issues related to decentralisation, local government management and local development” – issues which have also been at the forefront during previous editions of the MaTra Rule of Law Training programme. In anticipation for the coming Public Finance and Procurement training, we invite you to delve into Garcia Salaues’ approach to the training and see how some of the training tools could also benefit your own work. The interactive trainings have moved online, offering an opportunity for meeting colleagues and sharing experiences from the safety of your own home. The trainings continue to be of great necessity, as we look for the tools to navigate these uncertain times.

What can you learn from the programme?

As part of the Public Finance and Procurement training, Garcia Salaues explores not only the why but also the how, breaking down the complexities of these fields to really grasp the best tools and/or approaches. When it comes to administrative decentralisation, for example, pragmatism could be used as a necessary approach. Garcia Salaues will explain how such an approach can be properly implemented to achieve the greatest effect, recommending that “the search for efficient institutional arrangements for the provision of public goods and services should be flexible and subject to review.”

“Central governments are willing to transfer responsibilities to provide goods and services while retaining the funds; unfortunately, this occurs in most countries. Without a solid base of intergovernmental fiscal relations, decentralisation processes turn into incomplete reforms, with unviable local governments, incapable of promoting development. Local government practitioners and technicians who want to change this reality must have a deep understanding of fiscal decentralisation elements, the so-called pillars. The Public Finance and Procurement training provides a great base for fostering this understanding.”

The Public Finance and Procurement training aims to provide participants with “analytical tools to better understand the roles and responsibilities of local authorities.” Garcia Salaues will, in particular, highlight where misalignments may arise and where responsibilities should and could lie, whilst understanding the effect of availability of resources. Lastly, determining which parties should be involved in what decision-making processes is similarly important, as the role of local governments in national solutions could differ.

Please join us!

Sign up and share your thoughts and approaches during the upcoming Public Finance and Procurement training, taking place from the April 07–May 12, 2021!. As collaboration and exchange stand central in the MaTra Rule of Law Training programme, we are interested in hearing from you. Please note the deadline for applications is February 28, 2021.

The Matra Rule of Law Training Programme is designed and delivered by the Netherlands Helsinki Committee, Leiden Law School and The Hague Academy for Local Governance. It is financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, for a period of four years (2017- 2020). For questions relating to the Matra Rule of Law Training Programme or application process please email: Matrarolt (AT) nhc (DOT) nl.