Second Senior Officials’ Workshop, 25 - 26 June 2009
On 25 and 26 June senior officials from Finance Ministries of South Eastern European economies met the second time to discuss in detail the work plan of the REPARIS Program as well as to prepare the Ministerial Conference.
Following a brief overview of the role of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), national accounting standards, and accounting/financial reporting for different size entities and purposes, including financial institutions, participants were asked to outline the current requirements and challenges in their countries. Then, participants were divided into working groups to summarize specific questions and challenges that they consider relevant in the region for the following themes that were identified during the March workshop.
In addition, participants addressed challenges in implementing audit requirements and the European Union (EU) 8th Company Law Directive. They were expected to reach a shared understanding of the key challenges and success factors required to implement a system of public oversight and quality assurance of the work of auditors in the region. Participants reviewed in groups the list of challenges and questions that have arisen, identified and prioritized what needs to be done, how best to do it, and what regional strategies and approaches may be appropriate. Based upon this, participants agreed on a statement of needs that will guide the implementation of CFRR’s support to Regional REPARIS activities from 2009. In addition, it was agreed that two more communities of practice will be established under Component 3, an accounting and an auditing group, recognizing the success of the community of practice started under Component 2. Finally, participants were requested to provide advice and input on how to structure the autumn Ministerial Conference to ensure its relevance and appropriateness at the highest levels in each of the respective countries, to agree on potential activities that would create the necessary conditions for a successful conference and to commit to active participation, and to advise on potential priority matters for adoption by ministers. The second day ended with a speech from Fayezul Choudhury, Vice-President Corporate Finance and Risk Management, The World Bank, who congratulated the participants for the work achieved during the workshop and renewed the long term commitment of the Bank to the improvement of financial reporting in partner countries.
Vice-President Corporate Finance and Risk Management, World Bank
“The World Bank is committed to working in support of economies as they undertake these reforms, since we see improved financial reporting as making a direct contribution to the process of economic development, and to improving the lives of people. REPARIS is a unique experience for the Bank and an approach that could be replicated in other regions as well.”