Senior Officials' Workshop, 5 - 6 November 2009, Dubrovnik
The third Regional REPARIS Senior Officials’ Workshop was held on 5th and 6th November 2009 in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
The location was suggested by the Head of the Financial Reporting Department of the Ministry of Finance, Croatia, Ms Branka Augustinovic, who had secured the generous support of the Croatian Government who agreed to send the panel of experts from Croatia who were involved in the negotiation, transposition and implementation of the financial reporting and auditing elements of the acquis communautaire in Croatia.
A total of 25 Senior Officials attended from the REPARIS countries, including Deputy Finance Ministers, Senior Government Department heads, Ministerial Advisers and other senior officials nominated by the respective Ministers of Finance of Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Moldova, Kosovo and fYR Macedonia.
The aims of the workshop were:
Enhance understanding of the nature, challenges, and progress to date in implementing specific elements of the acquis communautaire in accounting and auditing in respect of the following areas, with a particular emphasis on learning of the recent experience of Croatia;
In the light of the above seminar, to revisit the list of REPARIS priority action items that were agreed at the Second Senior Officials workshop held in Vienna in June 2009, and share information on the CFRR’s efforts in implementing REPARIS activities since June 2009, and plans for 2010, and
To facilitate the provision of advice from the Senior Officials on the forthcoming Ministerial Conference to be held in December, to ensure its relevance and appropriateness at the highest levels in each of the respective economies.
Report on the Workshop
Discussions and presentations were held on each of the following themes, which were led by invited speakers from Croatia, whose aim was to share the experience of Croatia in implementing reforms in the specified areas:
Theme 1 – Transposition of EU Accounting and Auditing acquis into national law
Theme 2 – Institutional Arrangements – Standard Setting and Oversight
Theme 3 – Financial Reporting standards and associated legal requirements
Theme 4 – Audit Licensing and Oversight
Following the technical sessions and discussions on the main thematic areas described above, participants in the Senior Officials Workshop divided into 4 groups, to discuss the broader list of key priority/action items which emerged from the conclusion of the second Senior Officials workshop in June 2009, to determine whether the shared experiences of Croatia and deeper engagement with the technical aspects raised in the thematic discussions would merit a revision of the list.
The Senior Officials indicated support for the establishment of Communities of Practice to deal with issues relating to Financial Reporting and, separately, Auditing and Oversight. The workshop also afforded the Senior Officials an opportunity to review progress since June 2009 and contribute to planning for activities for 2010.
Final Activity – Planning for Ministerial Conference December 3rd 2009
During the final session of the Senior Officials Workshop, hosted by the Head of CFRR, the participants agreed the key aims for the Ministerial Conference and committed to increased efforts in the coming weeks to brief their Ministers on the discussions and their experience of this workshop, and to assist in making the December event a success.
The conference was closed by Mr John Hegarty, head of CFRR, who paid tribute and thanks to the Croatian team who contributed so much to the success of the event, and welcomed their further support and participation in the work of CFRR. The leader of the Croatian team thanked the CFRR and the participants for their co-operation and positive response to the event, expressing their willingness to work with the Regional REPARIS initiatives.
Conclusion and follow up
The unique contribution of a highly focused team of experts provided by the Minister for Finance of Croatia contributed towards a greater understanding of the challenges and possible solutions faced by the REPARIS economies in transposition and implementation of the corporate financial reporting and auditing acquis communautaire. The enthusiasm of the Croatian delegation to contribute was matched only by the positive, constructive receptive response of the Senior Officials from the economies of REPARIS.
The Senior Officials Workshop achieved all of the aims set out in the introduction to this report. Additional but intangible benefits, no less important, included the opportunities provided to CFRR staff to engage with Senior Officials on existing and planned economy level interventions, demonstrate the technical capacities of the CFRR team through facilitation, moderation and presentation of topics at the workshop, and the further evident professional and friendship bonds amongst the senior officials from the various economies around an agreed agenda.