33 Local Governments to be Supported to Improve Public Financial Management

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Local news, 14.05.2019

The Swiss Government will extend support to 33 local governments over the coming two years for improved public financial management and oversight of local public enterprises via Local Government Finance Reforms in Serbia II (RELOF2). Memorandums of Understanding with the local authorities were signed today at a ceremony in Belgrade.

Sibylle Hägler, Deputy Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office, addressing participants at the conference
Sibylle Hägler, Deputy Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office, addressing participants at the conference © RELOF

Sibylle Hägler, Deputy Director of Cooperation of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Serbia, underlined that Switzerland fosters and promotes the application of the principles of transparency and accountability at both the central and the local level, and that support to local governments is key, as these authorities are in the closest contact with the public. Relating to the successful first phase of RELOF, Ms Hägler emphasized that ‘The very fact that there is readiness and such commitment from mayors to improve their knowledge in public financial management is a victory for us all’.

Branko Ruzic, Minister of Public Administration and Local Government stated that it is important to ‘improve local public financial management, since this is both a statutory requirement and a precondition for fundamental progress to be made in the functioning of cities and municipalities’. Mr Ruzic acknowledged the need to enhance human capacities if the reforms were to produce the desired results.

Dragan Aleksic, Mayor of Osecina, said that because of RELOF: ‘We were able to enhance the transparency of our operations, with residents now able easily to learn about public revenues, expenditures, and outlays. Transparency in our work is important for gaining the trust of the public’.

Supported by the Swiss Government with EUR 3 million RELOF2 supports local governments to develop processes and tools for efficient public financial management. Find out more at project’s website.