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The third tranche of Euros 4.55 million released from the European Union to support Public Finance Reforms in Georgia

 

Public Finance sector reform is one of the major areas where the European Union provides assistance. Reforms in this sector are crucial for efficient and transparent allocation of public finances therefore contributing to eradicate poverty. The €4.55 million is a third tranche being paid this year as part of the €15 million allocated to the state budget for 2007-2009 for a programme that is intended to support Public Finance reforms. The payment of each tranche is linked to Government's performance in meeting set conditions in the area of strategic budgeting, accounting, treasury reforms, improved external and internal audit function, public procurement and strengthening the Revenue Service.

During the last few days of December 2009, the European Union released the third payment of €4.55 million to Georgia’s budget under the Financing Agreement signed in December 2007 between the European Union and the Georgian Government. The assistance under this Financing Agreement amounts to €15 million during 2007-2009 with additional €1 million for complementary technical assistance. All of this assistance is intended to strengthen the Public Finance reforms in Georgia.  

The third tranche in the amount of €4.55 million was released on the basis of an assessment that concluded that conditions were met substantially in all reform areas. The EU will continue its support to Georgia to foster further progress in planning and monitoring PFM reforms, including development of External Audit, Improvement in public financial internal control systems and internal audit and Improvement in Public Procurement.

The EU welcomes progress in many areas of public finance reform, notably the adoption of the updated PFM sector Strategy and Action plans, stronger and more effective cooperation and coordination with donors and civil society and government's commitments to ensure compliance with international standards.

Sector Budget Support is a new way of delivering aid in the area of public finance reform in Georgia. This instrument provides for the existence of certain conditions (general as well as specific) which have to be met by the government to allow for the transfer of funds. Each year the EU assesses the progress achieved and compliance with set conditions and releases the tranche in the amount that corresponds to the level of fulfilment of sector reform conditions.

Conditions of this programme are related to a range of issues relevant to the public finance sector including sector management, strategic budgeting, treasury reforms, improved external and internal audit, public procurement and strengthening the Revenue Services. Coordination of policy, institutional and legislative reforms within these institutions and participation of Georgian civil society and other donors is itself a major product of the programme.

The release of the first €5 million and in February 2008 indicated that the government had met the initial requirement of the programme.  The 2nd tranche €4 million was disbursed in December 2008.

In addition to transferring funds to the state budget through Budget Support, the European Union actively supports public finance sector through ongoing assistance projects for the Ministry of Finance, Chamber of Control, State Procurement Agency and the civil society.