CEF Annual report 2020

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<strong>CEF</strong><br />

<strong>Annual</strong> Report<br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

Supporting capacity development<br />

for finance officials in South East Europe<br />

through learning

LEGEND<br />


Blended learning is<br />

a combination of online<br />

learning activity and<br />

face-to-face workshop<br />

Round-table discussion<br />

Webinar / Online course /<br />

Online meeting<br />

CIPFA<br />

ECB<br />

EU<br />

ERP<br />

Chartered Institute<br />

of Public Finance and<br />

Accountancy<br />

European Central Bank<br />

European Union<br />

Economic Reform<br />

Programme<br />

<strong>CEF</strong><br />

<strong>Annual</strong> Report<br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

Conference<br />

Workshop<br />

FISR<br />

GIZ<br />

Fiscal Implications<br />

of Structural Reforms<br />

Deutsche Gesellschaft<br />

für Internationale<br />

Zusammenarbeit<br />

Seminar<br />

IMF<br />

IT<br />

International Monetary<br />

Fund<br />

Information Technology<br />

High-level meeting<br />

IPSAS<br />

International Public Sector<br />

Accounting Standards<br />

In-country certification<br />

program<br />

Country visit / Study visit<br />

Lecturing experts<br />

Meeting<br />

PACT<br />

PEFA<br />

PFM<br />

SDG<br />

SEE<br />

Public Accountants<br />

Certification Training<br />

Public Expenditure and<br />

Financial Accountability<br />

Public Financial<br />

Management<br />

Sustainable Development<br />

Goals<br />

South East Europe<br />

Broadcasting event<br />

TIAPS<br />

Training of Internal Audit<br />

in the Public Sector


6<br />

8<br />

10<br />

13<br />

15<br />

17<br />

18<br />

20<br />

22<br />

27<br />

28<br />

32<br />

36<br />

36<br />

38<br />

41<br />

42<br />

44<br />

47<br />

49<br />

50<br />

52<br />

56<br />

61<br />

65<br />

94<br />

<strong>CEF</strong> <strong>2020</strong> IN PICTURE<br />





Learning Formats<br />

<strong>CEF</strong> as a Learning Organization<br />

Monitoring and Evaluation<br />

The Art of Change in the Year of Covid-19<br />


<strong>2020</strong> Learning and Knowledge Sharing Program<br />

highlights<br />

Leadership for Managing Reforms<br />

Public Financial Management<br />

Budget Preparation and Execution<br />

Accounting<br />

Auditing<br />

Tax Policy and Administration<br />

Central Banking<br />

Data and Analysis for Designing Policies<br />


Governing Board<br />

Advisory Board<br />

Coordinators<br />

Secretariat<br />


APPENDIX: IMF Technical Advisors’ Report

<strong>2020</strong> IN A PICTURE

8 <strong>CEF</strong> ANNUAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong> <strong>CEF</strong> ANNUAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong> 9<br />

CHAIR OF THE <strong>CEF</strong> GOVERNIN<br />

ME<br />

Dear colleagues, <strong>CEF</strong> staff and friends,<br />

It has been more than a year since<br />

humanity faced the pandemic shock<br />

of Covid-19 and authorities across the<br />

world stepped in with decisive actions<br />

to address the risks to health and to<br />

the economy.<br />

The year <strong>2020</strong> has been challenging and determined<br />

people to adapt and change the way of thinking, of doing<br />

and of enhancing their activities. In such complex<br />

context, Romania took over the rotating presidency of<br />

the Governing Board of the Center of Excellence in Finance<br />

(<strong>CEF</strong>) on June 11, <strong>2020</strong> and I am honoured to<br />

have been designated to lead the Governing Board of<br />

<strong>CEF</strong> in my capacity of Governor of The National Bank<br />

of Romania.<br />

Today, it is my great pleasure to praise <strong>CEF</strong> for becoming<br />

a representative knowledge hub in the region,<br />

whose efforts and endeavours are widely recognized,<br />

in the field of training and capacity building for Ministries<br />

and Central Banks alike. During my time serving<br />

as Chair of <strong>CEF</strong> Governing Board, The National Bank of<br />

Romania actively participated to ensure continuity and<br />

development for the <strong>CEF</strong> mission. Please, allow me to<br />

express my utmost admiration for the remarkable work<br />

of Ms. Jana Repanšek, Director of <strong>CEF</strong> and its entire<br />

team and I commend on the outstanding cooperation<br />

within the framework of the <strong>CEF</strong>, for endeavours that<br />

stand proof for deepening our binding commitments.<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong> <strong>Annual</strong> Report for <strong>2020</strong> indicates a more than<br />

50 percent increase in participation at the <strong>CEF</strong>’s learning<br />

activities. <strong>CEF</strong> exceeded all expectations, might I<br />

At the same time, in <strong>2020</strong>, the usual <strong>Annual</strong> Meeting<br />

of <strong>CEF</strong> Coordinators has been transformed to a series<br />

of four virtual events that approached the most pressing<br />

topics for debate, on how to better cooperate and<br />

contribute to the professional training development caadd<br />

against all odds in a time marked by some strict<br />

lockdown measures, reaching out to more than 2.500<br />

participants from 40 countries, and the staff deserves<br />

the recognition and appreciation for such excellent<br />

work.<br />

During these unprecedented times, we have been able<br />

to carry on the work under the best, comprehensive<br />

and coordinated ways that have pushed our skills and<br />

creativity to improve the knowledge of finance officials<br />

through learning in alternative ways.<br />

The fruitful cooperation between the National Bank of<br />

Romania, the Ministry of Public Finance in Romania<br />

and the <strong>CEF</strong> has found expression in mitigating regional<br />

challenges while focusing on country specifics in implementation.<br />

The human capital in the region of South<br />

East Europe (SEE) will always be a key objective for any<br />

institution, to progress and contribute to social upscaling<br />

through knowledge sharing and professional learning.<br />

As a regional hub for learning and development,<br />

<strong>CEF</strong>’s ability to respond to regional challenges by focusing<br />

on a tailored-to-needs implementation, is a success<br />

factor in approaching the challenges and responding to<br />

them adequately, as a core value of <strong>CEF</strong> and of the NBR,<br />

at the same time.<br />

Keeping in mind and at heart these core values, <strong>CEF</strong><br />

swiftly acted to switch the in-class activities to online<br />

virtual meetings, adapting the content of the learning<br />

materials and the communication channels to ensure<br />

the same high quality training sessions and knowledge<br />

dissemination in the region. I remain confident that<br />

where challenges emerge, opportunities arise as well<br />

and <strong>2020</strong> has been a serious test for our countries and<br />

for the financial system, worldwide.<br />

During Romanian Presidency to <strong>CEF</strong> Governing Board,<br />

we have conceived and implemented an agenda of<br />

events to raise the awareness regarding the <strong>CEF</strong> mission<br />

and scope, focused on developing the international<br />

cooperation and the exchange of knowledge and best<br />

practices, as well as on underlining the recognition of<br />

relentless work. In <strong>2020</strong>, we celebrated 140 years since<br />

the establishment of the National Bank of Romania and<br />

the 20 years of <strong>CEF</strong>, in a partnership that continues to<br />

evolve and expand in the future.<br />

pacities, with a view on resilience, communication, leadership<br />

and learning process.<br />

In our leadership role to strengthen <strong>CEF</strong> capacities, we<br />

have contributed to the development of a comprehensive<br />

strategy for 2022–2026 in close consultation with<br />

all the governance stakeholders. The priorities bring<br />

forward the fostering of international cooperation and<br />

progress for the benefit of <strong>CEF</strong> members and non-members,<br />

and are drafted with a view for strategic areas in<br />

the learning program of <strong>CEF</strong>, such as the Public Financial<br />

Management, Tax Policy and Administration, Central<br />

Banking, Leadership for Managing Reforms and Data<br />

Analysis for Designing Policies.<br />

As Romania’s mandate comes to completion on June 8,<br />

2021, we express our deepest appreciation for the outstanding<br />

work of <strong>CEF</strong> and our belief that only together we<br />

are stronger. The excellent cooperation and the planning<br />

will always smooth the path to the future. Slovenia takes<br />

over the <strong>CEF</strong> Governing Board Presidency, along with the<br />

strategic goals of <strong>CEF</strong> to advance and promote the learning<br />

objectives, ensuring the continuity of <strong>CEF</strong> mission in the<br />

region. We wish to <strong>CEF</strong>, to Slovenia and to all <strong>CEF</strong> members<br />

and partners, every future success and re-affirm our strong<br />

commitments to accomplishing our mutual objectives.<br />

Mugur Isărescu<br />

Governor of the National Bank of Romania

10 <strong>CEF</strong> ANNUAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong> <strong>CEF</strong> ANNUAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong> 11<br />


Dear friends,<br />

I am delighted to present to you the <strong>CEF</strong>’s<br />

<strong>Annual</strong> Report <strong>2020</strong>, sharing with you our<br />

journey through this unprecedented year.<br />

Like for most of the world, the <strong>CEF</strong>’s year took a stark turn<br />

on Friday, March 13, when we packed our computers and<br />

prepared for an undefined period of working from home.<br />

While the switch was seamless technology-wise, it was far<br />

more complex in other areas. That is why we established<br />

early on three priorities – strategic, operational, personal<br />

– and framed our work and lives around them.<br />

Starting with the strategic focus, we continued drafting<br />

our strategy for 2022–2026 and consultations with our<br />

governance stakeholders. We will present the new <strong>CEF</strong><br />

strategy at the annual meeting of the Governing Board<br />

in 2021.<br />

On the operational side, one of the main challenges<br />

was how to execute the learning program for <strong>2020</strong> in<br />

the online environment. With the entire team dedicated<br />

to this goal, we anticipated the first learning event with<br />

some level of anxiety. Much to our relief, all the hard<br />

work invested in building a strong connection with our<br />

constituency paid off, and our first webinar during the<br />

lockdown had excellent participation. This gave us additional<br />

motivation to transform the remaining activities<br />

into an online format. We made sure that the learning<br />

activities were relevant to the demands of the region<br />

and the prospects brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.<br />

We also applied many innovative approaches to make<br />

the online learning environment engaging.<br />

In the end, <strong>2020</strong> proved to be quite a remarkable year.<br />

We carried out 74 learning and knowledge sharing activities,<br />

attended by 2,526 participants – a 51% increase<br />

compared to 2019. Only 11 of them were delivered as<br />

face-to-face workshops or meetings. In addition, we designed<br />

a number of knowledge products that enriched<br />

our learning offer.<br />

Although from the outside, it might seem that our team<br />

managed these extreme circumstances with relative<br />

ease, great efforts were needed to make the <strong>CEF</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

story a success. This is why in our adopted approach, the<br />

personal focus was in fact the first and most important<br />

one. Many of our staff members took on additional roles<br />

as part-time teachers and facilitators, while others were<br />

isolated from their loved ones living in another country.<br />

I feel immensely grateful to the entire team for going<br />

many extra miles in their dedication to the <strong>CEF</strong>, and to<br />

the people of the region that we all serve.<br />

I am equally deeply thankful for the steadfast support<br />

that we received from our partners, donors, affiliated<br />

and external experts, Coordinators, the Governing Board<br />

and the Advisory Board, and countless public officials<br />

working in institutions throughout the region. You made<br />

our journey through this year a lot easier. We look forward<br />

to continuing this very productive dialogue with<br />

you. We are confident that together we will carry on promoting<br />

innovative ways in which knowledge is communicated,<br />

absorbed and shared.<br />

The learnings we gathered in this extraordinary year<br />

should not be just a moment in time. This common experience<br />

needs to become a movement towards a better<br />

prospect. When planning our next steps, we should all<br />

keep in mind that the history has its eyes on us, with the<br />

future already standing at our doorstep.<br />

Jana Repanšek<br />

Director<br />


We support capacity development for finance<br />

officials in SEE through learning.<br />

OUR WORK<br />

We work with our constituency by directly<br />

contributing to the design and implementation<br />

of their public financial management,<br />

tax policy and administration,<br />

data and analysis for designing policies<br />

and central banking reform efforts. We<br />

do this through innovative, participatory,<br />

and practical learning solutions. The <strong>CEF</strong><br />

serves as a knowledge hub for the region:<br />

we combine topical expertise and<br />

in-depth knowledge of countries with a<br />

good grasp of leadership skills required<br />

to manage reforms. We know how to nurture<br />

and deepen learning among individuals<br />

and institutions.<br />


We were established in 2001 under the<br />

Stability Pact for SEE by the Slovenian<br />

Government, at the initiative of the Slovenian<br />

Ministry of Finance and in close<br />

cooperation with other ministries of finance<br />

of former Yugoslav countries and<br />

Albania. In 2015, the <strong>CEF</strong> became an<br />

international organization.<br />


We primarily serve ministries of finance,<br />

tax administrations, and central banks in<br />

Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria,<br />

Croatia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro,<br />

North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia,<br />

Slovenia, and Turkey. We also address capacity<br />

development needs of line ministries<br />

and other key stakeholders and are<br />

present in some other countries.



OUR<br />



We are a leader in applying peoplecentered<br />

learning approaches. They are<br />

associated with effective learning as<br />

they induce (critical) thinking, analysis<br />

and problem solving.<br />

Learning<br />

needs of our<br />

learners<br />

Creative<br />

learning<br />

environment<br />

Acquired<br />

skills and<br />

knowledge of<br />

learners<br />

<strong>CEF</strong>’s<br />

participatory<br />

learning<br />

approach<br />

Learner at<br />

the heart of<br />

the learning<br />

process<br />

A range of<br />

learning<br />

methods and<br />

tools<br />

Learners’<br />


16 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


Learning Formats<br />

For our learning and knowledge sharing activities, we choose learning formats<br />

that fit their purpose, learning objectives, and location:<br />

• certification programs<br />

• online courses<br />

• workshops<br />

• webinars<br />

• meetings<br />

• conferences<br />

• study visits<br />

• knowledge products: video lectures, papers, case studies, blog posts,<br />

Line Ministries Portal feeds<br />

They can be organized in classrooms, online, or as combined (blended/hybrid),<br />

and they are of different duration. Microlearning activities, such as video lectures<br />

or webinars, are short; macrolearning activities are of longer duration, e.g. 2.5-<br />

day workshops and online courses, or certification programs for public sector<br />

accountants and auditors (PACT and TIAPS) that take one year or more.<br />







SPACES*<br />





(LEARNING)<br />


* Online Learning Campus, Line Ministries Portal, other online (meeting and social media) platforms<br />

We take great care of constantly upgrading these elements. Our learning experts<br />

are always on the lookout for new learning techniques and learner engagement<br />

methods, as well as the latest online delivery technologies. We also continually<br />

invest in our premises, creating a pleasant and motivating physical environment<br />

for the participants of our events.

18 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


<strong>CEF</strong> as a<br />

Learning<br />

Organization<br />

We hold the know-how<br />

of becoming a learning<br />

organization (knowledge hub).<br />

Knowledge hub is a learning<br />

organization that is dedicated<br />

to capturing, packaging and<br />

sharing experiences and<br />

knowledge with partners to<br />

accelerate development.<br />

Having a mission to share our know-how<br />

about becoming and being a learning organization,<br />

we function as a knowledge<br />

hub for other institutions that would like<br />

to become learning organizations and<br />

serve as knowledge hubs for others.<br />


Governance<br />

and Culture<br />

Partnerships<br />

Funds for<br />

Learning and<br />

Knowledge<br />

Sharing<br />

Knowledge<br />

Capturing,<br />

Packaging,<br />

and Sharing<br />

Synergy of governance and culture involves developing new attitudes and<br />

behaviors, such as a coaching and mentoring culture, thoughtful listening,<br />

open-minded questioning, and acceptance of opposing points of view.<br />

Well-planned resources for learning and strategic partnerships are crucial<br />

elements of a learning organization.<br />

Knowledge capturing, packaging and sharing is a meeting point between our<br />

internal learning and being knowledge providers for others. We often merge<br />

and combine how we learn internally and how we deliver learning as a service.<br />

We communicate about learning through our website, social media channels,<br />

monthly newsletter, knowledge products and publications, and integrate<br />

them into our future learning activities. Our Blog on Learning is a go-to place<br />

for learning about learning.<br />

Communication<br />

about Learning<br />

Monitoring and<br />

Evaluation<br />

We:<br />

• put emphasis on learning environment,<br />

how learning happens and how<br />

it influences individuals and their institutions<br />

• recognize the existing knowledge in<br />

public institutions and understand<br />

their learning needs<br />

• organize knowledge sharing in different<br />

formats, using a range of learning<br />

tools and methods<br />

• nurture networking among all learners<br />

and knowledge providers<br />

• encourage ownership through partnerships<br />

and participation of all learners<br />

and knowledge providers<br />

• adapt as we go<br />

Many institutions, teams and officials from our constituency are expressing<br />

the readiness to invest in capturing, packaging and sharing knowledge. In<br />

<strong>2020</strong>, we continued to support public officials in sharing their knowledge and<br />

expertise, for example through:<br />

• on-the-job training and mentoring of the Montenegrin Human Resource<br />

Management Authority that took over running independently certification<br />

programs for internal auditors and accountants (TIAPS and PACT) in the<br />

public sector of Montenegro<br />

• training of trainers for tutors of the certification program for public accountants<br />

implemented in North Macedonia<br />

• establishing a Network of Regional Experts (NRE) promoting learning and<br />

knowledge sharing about the fiscal implications of structural reforms<br />

• online peer learning sessions for <strong>CEF</strong> Coordinators, <strong>CEF</strong> team and others,<br />

designed to enhance knowledge and experience exchange on the transformation<br />

galvanized by the pandemic

20 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


Monitoring and Evaluation<br />

We set targets for our work in our annual learning and knowledge<br />

sharing program, project-related results frameworks, internal change<br />

initiatives as well as specific objectives for each activity. We link our<br />

annual performance plans to these targets at the institutional, team<br />

and personal level. As part of monitoring risks, we regularly reassess<br />

these targets and decide whether any mitigating work is needed.<br />


Our risk management process supports decision-making<br />

and planning, increases managerial<br />

accountability, and ultimately leads to<br />

greater efficiency and effectiveness. It also<br />

improves service quality and supports the<br />

ongoing change management efforts that the<br />

<strong>CEF</strong> needs to undergo to thrive as a learning<br />

organization.<br />

To demonstrate the value that we create, we use a wide<br />

range of quantitative indicators, such as participation<br />

statistics and surveys from our events, complemented<br />

by qualitative information gathered in exchange with the<br />

key stakeholders of our work.<br />

As a regional knowledge hub and learning organization,<br />

we value open and direct feedback, and develop processes<br />

to loop the lessons learned back into improving<br />

our daily work and reviewing our strategic direction. In<br />

gathering feedback, we pay special attention to unaddressed<br />

learning needs, opportunities for further knowledge<br />

sharing, and how new knowledge is applied.<br />

To collect feedback, we use a range of tools and<br />

opportunities from carrying out evaluation surveys after<br />

the events and capturing value creation stories about<br />

behavioral changes to promoting structured evaluation<br />

conversations.<br />

In <strong>2020</strong>, we invested into more consultations with<br />

key officials from our constituency, and thus gained a<br />

deeper understanding of individual learners’ motivation.<br />

Furthermore, as part of preparing our next strategy,<br />

we reviewed how we performed on the different<br />

objectives set out for our respective thematic priorities<br />

and projects.<br />

With the Covid-19 pandemic, we had to factor<br />

in new aspects and considerations. We have<br />

taken many preventive measures to foresee<br />

and, if necessary, mitigate the consequences<br />

of related risks. These measures addressed:<br />

• policies and procedures<br />

• facilities, supplies and finances<br />

• learning and training<br />

• communication and messaging<br />

All of them were evaluated in the context of our<br />

working environment and on external factors.<br />


Our activities support the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that are part<br />

of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. The <strong>CEF</strong> activities support particularly the<br />

following two sustainable development goals.<br />


All <strong>CEF</strong> learning and knowledge sharing activities are intended to improve the capacities of public<br />

officials in order to facilitate their work performance. The final goal is to support the officials,<br />

their public financial management, tax policy and administration, and central banking reform efforts<br />

and, as a consequence, build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.<br />


On the way towards realization of the SDGs, the <strong>CEF</strong> is partnering with multilateral and bilateral<br />

organizations, knowledge institutions, peer organizations, finance ministries, line ministries,<br />

central banks and other institutions from our constituency. The partners share our<br />

commitment to the region’s reform efforts. This strong and reliable partner network creates<br />

valuable synergies in implementing international development cooperation and thus accelerates<br />

progress in the realization of the SDGs.

22 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


The Art of Change<br />

in the Year of Covid-19<br />

Leveraging from extensive in-house expertise,<br />

we swiftly and without major obstacles<br />

upgraded our work to meet the new imperatives<br />

of the online-only world.<br />

Our team’s great enthusiasm and desire to continue innovating<br />

far exceeded the wish to simply weather the imposed situation.<br />

With this approach, we were able to, among many other activities,<br />

carry out all the envisioned country specific events, organize<br />

the Governing and Advisory Board meetings, conduct our biennial<br />

Coordinators meeting through several virtual learning sessions,<br />

hold the first hybrid event in the form of an internal art workshop,<br />

and re-launch the <strong>CEF</strong>’s Instagram account. Last but certainly not<br />

least, we organized our first live broadcasting event Navigating<br />

Towards the New Normal Economy.<br />



More specifically, we:<br />

• re-designed face-to-face workshops into online courses<br />

• selected online platforms that correspond to our<br />

needs<br />

• optimized the work-flow processes for online events to<br />

reflect the online-only environment<br />

• started issuing a digital certificate of attendance<br />

• further utilized the functionalities of the existing tools<br />

and tested new innovative tools<br />

• enhanced internal and external information and<br />

knowledge sharing through different channels<br />

• boosted the visibility of our work with increased online<br />

presence and promotion (<strong>CEF</strong>’s website, social media<br />

channels, blog section, Line Ministries Portal, e-news)<br />

• enhanced capacities for facilitation and participants’<br />

engagement (virtual coffee breaks, story creation,<br />

quiz time, breakout sessions)<br />

• established new solutions for live online translation,<br />

including using a speech translation software<br />


As one of the responses to the<br />

reality of <strong>2020</strong>, we added the<br />

“Take a break with us” e-news<br />

to the list of communications<br />

with our audience. In it, we<br />

share interesting trivia and feelgood<br />

hints for improving ones’<br />

work and life, inviting people to<br />

pause for a moment.







We base our partnership with public<br />

officials in SEE on delivering wellbalanced<br />

learning and knowledge<br />

sharing initiatives, spanning across<br />

five thematic areas, as well as<br />

governance and outreach activities.<br />

Public<br />

Financial<br />

Management<br />

Budget Preparation<br />

and Execution<br />

Accounting<br />

Auditing<br />

Leadership<br />

for Managing<br />

Reforms<br />

Tax Policy and<br />

Administration<br />

Data and<br />

Analysis for<br />

Designing<br />

Policies<br />

Central Banking

28 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


<strong>2020</strong> PARTICIPANTS BY THEMATIC AREA<br />

Learning and Knowledge<br />

Sharing Program highlights<br />

74 3,390 213<br />



8<br />



* The number does not include participants at governance and outreach events.<br />



2,526<br />





12 %<br />



10 %<br />

BUDGET<br />



27 %<br />


10 %<br />



28 %<br />


10 %<br />



3 %

30 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


The 2,526 participants, who attended 74 learning and<br />

knowledge sharing initiatives with 213 lecturing experts<br />

in <strong>2020</strong>, accumulated a total of 3,390 participant learning<br />

days.<br />

In addition, we designed 8 knowledge products. Knowledge<br />

products capture the knowledge generated at a<br />

learning and knowledge sharing activity, such as recommendations,<br />

findings, insights, good practices, and the<br />

lessons learned. We repackage knowledge in a format<br />

(videos, printed and online publications, <strong>report</strong>s and other<br />

materials) that enables further sharing.<br />

Most of the activities were delivered online; only 11<br />

events were organized in person at the <strong>CEF</strong> headquarters<br />

or other locations in Georgia, Montenegro, North<br />

Macedonia and Slovenia.<br />

Participation costs (travel and accommodation) for<br />

in-person events were either financed through project<br />

funding or by a sponsoring institution, i.e., their employer<br />

or a donor. For in-kind attendance, costs are estimated<br />

at EUR 200 per participant per day plus EUR 500 for<br />

airfare. In-kind attendance from institutions situated in<br />

the country of the event location and for participants of<br />

online learning events is estimated at nil travel and accommodation<br />

cost.<br />


ALL<br />


ONLINE<br />




(non-financed)<br />

ALL<br />

DAYS*<br />

ONLINE<br />

DAYS*<br />


DAYS*<br />

(non-financed)<br />

COSTS<br />

EUR<br />

Albania 242 228 2 322 289 8 2,500<br />

Bosnia and Herzegovina 208 193 1 260 227 4 1,400<br />

Bulgaria 64 56 6 79 57 16 6,300<br />

Croatia 48 36 10 67 33 28 10,700<br />

Kosovo 169 156 4 214 186 11 4,200<br />

North Macedonia 360 335 5 551 484 18 6,000<br />

Moldova 110 101 1 94 72 2 900<br />

Montenegro 215 174 1 350 227 4 1,400<br />

Romania 116 115 0 116 113 0 0<br />

Serbia 236 223 1 489 459 4 1,400<br />

Slovenia 81 66 15 90 45 46 0<br />

Turkey 324 308 0 400 367 0 0<br />

Total (<strong>CEF</strong> constituency) 34,800<br />

Other countries 353 337 6 357 317 16 6,100<br />

Total 2526 2328 52 3390 2878 158 40,900<br />


Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Egypt, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland,<br />

Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Mongolia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, Tajikistan,<br />

Ukraine, the United Kingdom, USA.<br />

* Numbers are rounded

32 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


Leadership for<br />

Managing Reforms<br />

<strong>2020</strong> was an excellent year to<br />

practice the true meaning of<br />

leadership for managing reforms.<br />

The pandemic has made it clear that<br />

rapid changes are possible when<br />

everybody is part of the change.<br />


• How Learning and Knowledge Sharing Can Work for<br />

You (printed and online publication)<br />

https://www.cef-see.org/publications<br />

• Importance of Workplace Environment and Culture<br />

(video)<br />

www.youtube.com/user/communications<strong>CEF</strong><br />

• <strong>CEF</strong> Coordinators – Stories from Their Surroundings<br />

(digital story)<br />

https://centerofexcellenceinfinance.exposure.co/<br />

The vision of what is leadership is inevitably<br />

changing. We reflected a lot on<br />

this at the workshop Coordinators of<br />

Economic Reform Programs as Inspired Leaders.<br />

Participants reflected on their roles in guiding,<br />

challenging, and training others, and learned how<br />

teams improve performance through assigning the<br />

right roles to the right people.<br />

As our last face-to-face event of the year, we organized<br />

Networking for Structural Reforms – an annual<br />

event that brings together public officials and<br />

experts from the Western Balkans and Turkey. We<br />

also put attention to the coordination processes of<br />

costing and budgeting the ERPs in these countries,<br />

and supported their learning for better policy drafting<br />

and negotiations.<br />

One of the highlights was the broadcasting event<br />

Navigating Towards the New Normal Economy. The<br />

event explored the leadership styles needed for navigating<br />

in the post Covid-19 economies, the importance<br />

of data analysis as support in decision-making<br />

processes, and the options for cross-sectoral<br />

collaboration in policy design. Through webinars,<br />

we addressed also other Covid-19 related leadership<br />

challenges.<br />

Natasha Ilijeva Acevska<br />

Senior Program Officer and thematic area lead<br />

EVENTS<br />

Foresight and Scenario Planning<br />

Methodologies<br />

On the Way to Become a Knowledge Hub<br />

Regional Networking for Structural<br />

Reforms (Bled, Slovenia)<br />

Exploring Ways Forward for the ERP<br />

Process<br />

Coordinators of Economic Reform<br />

Programs as Inspired Leaders<br />

Covid-19 Crisis: Leadership Challenges<br />

in Public Institutions<br />

Online Meetings to Launch the 2021–<br />

2023 Economic Reform Program<br />

Coordination Schemes in Costing<br />

Structural Reforms*<br />

NRE in Structural Reforms<br />

Policy Drafting and Negotiation<br />

in Line Ministries<br />

Navigating Towards the New Normal<br />

Economy<br />

* Six events organized for Albania, Bosnia and<br />

Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro,<br />

Serbia and Turkey.<br />


• EU<br />

• Ministry of Finance, Slovenia<br />


• Bled School of Management (IEDC), Slovenia<br />

• Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia

34 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />



I ATTENDED*:<br />

… taught me how to translate policies and measures into<br />

simple, comprehensive and understandable messages.<br />


… offered a chance to work together with the <strong>CEF</strong> and try<br />

to improve the links between the fiscal framework and<br />

structural reforms in the specific Bosnian and Herzegovinian<br />

environment of fiscal federalism.<br />


… contributed to a more precise estimation of measures<br />

and activities to be integrated into the state budget. The<br />

learning initiatives had a good impact on communication<br />

between the Ministry of Finance and line ministries in the<br />

sense of collaboration regarding structural reforms.<br />


… gave me new knowledge that is applicable in my everyday<br />

duties and has encouraged me to create and share<br />

new ideas as a way to improve resolving tasks and challenges.<br />

I also consider gaining many new friends and colleagues<br />

from all over the region as a personal success.<br />


… gave me insights into how <strong>CEF</strong> events are the place<br />

where theory meets practice, which is the best-fitted approach<br />

to organizing workshops of this format. Also the<br />

Line Ministries Portal is certainly an effective tool for easily<br />

sharing information, ideas and opinions in the region.<br />


… was in line with the defined goals and my personal<br />

needs in the area of programing and budgeting of ERPs.<br />

I heard and learned a lot of important facts and useful<br />

things from experts, which I will use in my further work<br />

in the area of ERP.<br />


… brought the realization that increasing communication<br />

channels to meet colleagues online can be an effective<br />

tool for improving the integration of structural reforms<br />

into all public documents.<br />




FISR is a multi-beneficiary project implemented<br />

by the <strong>CEF</strong> and funded by the EU.<br />

The project is targeted to the EU candidate<br />

and potential candidates in the Western<br />

Balkans and Turkey. It aims to strengthen<br />

analytical capacities needed for comprehensive<br />

assessment of fiscal implications<br />

of the structural reforms, promote greater<br />

fiscal policy coordination among relevant<br />

authorities, and stimulate exchange of good<br />

practices in the region. It was launched in<br />

2019 and will continue until early 2022.<br />

PROJECT DELIVERABLES IN <strong>2020</strong><br />

A comprehensive learning portfolio: 31 learning initiatives<br />

and two regional meetings – over five knowledge sections:<br />

costing, budgeting, enabling environment, transparency, and<br />

preparing high-quality documents.<br />


We delivered 20 in-country customized learning<br />

initiatives online in the local languages of<br />

participants from the seven project countries.<br />

They were attended by 706 participants: 67%<br />

from line ministries and 23% from ministries of<br />

finance and other institutions.<br />


We organized 11 regional events: four workshops,<br />

four online courses, a webinar, a<br />

high-level broadcasting event and online ERP<br />

Coordinators meeting. The events gathered<br />

464 participants: 27% from line ministries<br />

and 63% from ministries of finance and other<br />

institutions.<br />

We re-established the network of regional<br />

experts in structural reforms to function as<br />

a community of practice. It has 34 members<br />

from all project countries, including 20 from<br />

line ministries.<br />

We have also increased the usage of our Line<br />

Ministries Portal, bringing forward the updates<br />

about <strong>CEF</strong>’s work as well as news from<br />

the region and wider.<br />



• Methodological Guidance for Costing<br />

of Structural Reforms (video lecture,<br />

available at www.youtube.com/user/<br />

communications<strong>CEF</strong><br />

• How Learning and Knowledge Sharing<br />

Can Work for You (printed and online<br />

publication, the latter available at<br />

www.cef-see.org/publications)<br />

• Importance of Workplace Environment<br />

and Culture (video interview,<br />

available at www.youtube.com/user/<br />

communications<strong>CEF</strong><br />

In addition, a study “Enabling Environments<br />

for Improved Costing and Budgeting<br />

of Structural Reforms in Western<br />

Balkans and Turkey” and a position paper<br />

with consolidated recommendations<br />

for revisions of the ERP Guidance Note<br />

of the EC in view of the Covid-19 crisis,<br />

with a special reference to the fiscal<br />

implications of structural reforms, were<br />

prepared.<br />

At the Line Ministries Portal, we published<br />

throughout the year the la test information,<br />

learning resources and learning<br />

opportunities relevant to carrying<br />

out structural reforms in the beneficiary<br />

institutions and countries.<br />

www.lineministries.org<br />

* The statements present the condensed and for content purposes<br />

slightly edited essence of longer value creation stories.

36 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


Public Financial<br />

Management<br />



We deliver the program in<br />

collaboration with the IMF<br />

PFM advisor for SEE , based at<br />

the <strong>CEF</strong>, who contributed the<br />

contents informed by her capacity<br />

development missions in the region.<br />


• How to Institutionalize Spending Reviews –<br />

Case Study on the Slovak Republic (online<br />

publication)<br />

https://www.cef-see.org/publications<br />

• Investment Planning and Evaluation –<br />

Case Study on the Slovak Republic (online<br />

publication)<br />

https://www.cef-see.org/publications<br />

• Methodological Guidance for Costing of<br />

Structural Reforms in Short (video)<br />

www.youtube.com/user/communications<strong>CEF</strong><br />


• EU<br />

• Ministry of Finance, Slovakia<br />

• Ministry of Finance, Slovenia<br />

• PEFA Secretariat<br />


• Brussels Region, Belgium<br />

• EC (DG EMPL, DG ECFIN)<br />

• International Monetary Fund<br />

• Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equality, Slovenia<br />

• Parliament of Austria<br />

• Parliament of Montenegro<br />

• State Supreme Audit, Albania<br />

• The World Bank Group<br />

One of the biggest achievements in<br />

the program were 14 country-specific<br />

online courses on the costing and<br />

budgeting of structural reforms that were adjusted<br />

to the particular learning needs of line and finance<br />

ministries from seven countries of Western<br />

Balkans and Turkey. Online delivery enabled us to<br />

reach a wider audience and promote more interaction<br />

and knowledge sharing among countries.<br />

<strong>2020</strong> was marked also by close cooperation with<br />

the PEFA Secretariat. Together, we delivered four<br />

joint webinars to cover some of the most current<br />

and relevant topics, such as gender budgeting,<br />

utilization of PEFA for PFM improvements, PFM<br />

at a subnational level, and the role of parliament<br />

in budgeting.<br />

We are also proud that our last face-to-face event<br />

delivered before the pandemic, Managing Pension<br />

System Reforms, was awarded second place<br />

in the category of the best business-to-business<br />

events at the Conventa annual competition for<br />

the best event in the region.<br />

Tara Vasiljević<br />

Program Specialist and thematic area lead<br />

EVENTS<br />

Managing Financing and Costing of<br />

Pension System Reforms (<strong>CEF</strong>, Slovenia)<br />

Are Public Finances Gender Aware?<br />

PEFA Deep Dive into Global Trends<br />

Fiscal Programming of Structural<br />

Reforms<br />

Integration of Structural Reforms into<br />

Budgets*<br />

Knowledge Sharing on Costing of<br />

Structural Reforms*<br />

Using PEFA to Support PFM<br />

Improvement<br />

Reinforcing the Role of Parliament in<br />

the Budgeting Process<br />

Carrying Out PEFA Assessments at<br />

Subnational Levels<br />

* Seven events organized for Albania, Bosnia<br />

and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia,<br />

Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.

38 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />





The program supports the transition<br />

to accrual accounting through<br />

closer alignment with international<br />

standards and best practices. It<br />

fosters public institutions’ cooperation<br />

to ensure accountability, transparency<br />

and decision-making based on<br />

reliable and complete information.<br />

We delivered the program in collaboration with<br />

the IMF PFM advisor for SEE.<br />

• Perspectives of Implementation of International Public<br />

Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and Transition<br />

to Accrual Accounting (printed and online publication<br />

in English)<br />

https://www.cef-see.org/publications<br />

• Perspectives of Implementation of International Public<br />

Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and Transition<br />

to Accrual Accounting – Montenegro (printed and<br />

online publication in Montenegrin, with an appendix<br />

on expert findings based on standards and public institutional<br />

aspect)<br />

https://www.cef-see.org/publications<br />

PACT, the certification training program for<br />

public accountants, is internationally recognized<br />

and offers a certificate and a diploma<br />

level. It consists of various structured learning<br />

modules and transfers knowledge to ensure<br />

the program’s local sustainability.<br />

We concluded PACT for the third generation<br />

of students in Montenegro and handed over<br />

the program to the local Ministry of Finance<br />

and Social Welfare and the Human Resources<br />

Management Authority, which will be running<br />

it on its own. We also started PACT at the certificate<br />

level for the third generation of public<br />

sector accountants in North Macedonia.<br />

EVENTS<br />

We concluded the certification training<br />

for the third generation of public<br />

sector accountants and coordinated<br />

the process of drafting by-laws to the new Law on<br />

Public Sector Accounting in Montenegro. We also<br />

initiated a successful transformation of PACT<br />

(program for public sector accountants) in-class<br />

training to an online format in North Macedonia.<br />

We are also proud of driving the localization as<br />

a support to local institutions in taking over the<br />

PACT in Montenegro. Thus, they developed their<br />

human resources management and organizational<br />

knowledge sharing capacity.<br />

One of the highlights of the year was our program<br />

development on the topic of management<br />

of non-financial public sector assets through an<br />

extensive online course. The course motivated<br />

participants and experts to scan knowledge gaps<br />

and needs, and encouraged us to develop related<br />

learning initiatives in the coming years.<br />

Jasmina Popović<br />

Program Officer and thematic area lead<br />

International Public Sector Accounting<br />

Standards (IPSAS) Training<br />

(Budva, Montenegro)<br />

PACT North Macedonia:<br />

Methodological Training of Tutors (ToT)<br />

(Skopje, North Macedonia)<br />

PACT Montenegro: Sharing and<br />

Reflecting on Lessons Learned in PACT<br />

Program Implementation<br />

PACT North Macedonia: Introduction to<br />

Public Accounting Certification Training<br />

in North Macedonia<br />

PACT North Macedonia: Training of<br />

Tutors (ToT) for the Financial Accounting<br />

Module<br />

Financial Accounting<br />

Managing Public Sector Assets<br />

PACT North Macedonia: Financial<br />

Accounting and Covid-19: Using<br />

Financial Information for Better<br />

Decision Making in Times of Crisis<br />

PACT North Macedonia: Management<br />

Accounting and Covid-19: Using<br />

Financial Information for Better<br />

Decision Making in Times of Crisis<br />

Cost Accounting Techniques<br />


• EU<br />

• Ministry of Finance, Slovakia<br />

• Ministry of Finance, Slovenia<br />

• Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia<br />


• CIPFA<br />

• Faculty of Economics, Ss. Cyril and Methodius<br />

University, North Macedonia<br />

• Faculty of Economics, University of Banja Luka,<br />

Bosnia and Herzegovina<br />

• Faculty of Public Administration, University of<br />

Ljubljana, Slovenia<br />

• International Monetary Fund<br />

• Massey University School of Accountancy, New<br />

Zealand<br />

• Ministry of Finance and Social Welfare, Montenegro<br />

• Ministry of Finance, North Macedonia<br />

• Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State<br />

Assets, Croatia<br />

• Parliamentary Budget Office, Austria<br />

• Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland<br />

PACT Montenegro<br />

Third generation: started in September 2018,<br />

concluded in December <strong>2020</strong><br />

Number of certificates awarded: 38<br />

PACT North Macedonia<br />

Third generation: started in January <strong>2020</strong><br />

Number of students enrolled: 35

40 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />



Throughout <strong>2020</strong>, we have adjusted the content of our<br />

learning initiatives to reflect the immediate and upcoming<br />

consequences of Covid-19. We have also broadened our<br />

cooperation with the experts from the region. Mr. Victor Lipet from the<br />

National Bank of Moldova shared his insights and expertise at our Developing<br />

Internal Auditor’s Communication Skills online course. Ms. Zorica<br />

Bozhinovska Lazarevska from the Faculty of Economics, Ss. Cyril and<br />

Methodius University in Skopje, contributed her knowledge and experience<br />

at the webinar Code of Ethics in the Profession of Internal Auditing.<br />

With this webinar, we introduced a new topic in the thematic area of<br />

auditing. The aspect of the code of ethics generates high interest and<br />

is highly relevant to public sector internal auditors. They are requested<br />

to undertake training related to ethics in the internal audit profession<br />

to keep their Certified Internal Auditor license from the Institute of<br />

Internal Auditors valid. As the subject is still not given sufficient focus<br />

and there are very limited learning opportunities available, we plan to<br />

explore it further in our future learning program.<br />

We added another milestone in the past year by successfully completing<br />

the preparatory project for introducing TIAPS certification training<br />

in Georgia.<br />

Kaja Jurtela<br />

Program Specialist and thematic area lead<br />

Arjonela Dedja<br />

Program Facilitator<br />

Our program in internal auditing is<br />

designed to support strengthening of<br />

public internal control arrangements,<br />

and is strongly rooted in the Public<br />

Internal Control framework for the EU<br />

Member States and the Public Internal<br />

Financial Control framework for EU<br />

enlargement countries.<br />

EVENTS<br />

TIAPS Georgia: Localization Working<br />

Group Meeting #2 (Borjomi, Georgia)<br />

Code of Ethics in the Profession of<br />

Internal Auditing<br />

Ways to Optimize Internal Control of EU<br />

Funds (<strong>CEF</strong>, Slovenia)<br />

Key Steps to Effective Planning of an<br />

Internal Audit Engagement<br />

Implementing Financial Management<br />

and Control<br />

Developing Internal Auditor’s<br />

Communication Skills<br />

IT Auditing<br />


• Gesellschaft für Internationale<br />

Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)<br />

• Ministry of Finance, the Netherlands<br />

• Ministry of Finance, Slovakia<br />

• Ministry of Finance, Slovenia<br />


• Court of Audit, Slovenia<br />

• Faculty of Economics, Ss. Cyril and<br />

Methodius University, North Macedonia<br />

• Ministry of Finance, Georgia<br />

• National Bank of Moldova<br />


TIAPS, training certification program for<br />

public sectors auditors, is an internationally<br />

recognized program developed in cooperation<br />

with CIPFA. It has a certificate and<br />

a diploma level, and consists of various<br />

structured learning modules and transfers<br />

knowledge to ensure local sustainability of<br />

the program.<br />

In <strong>2020</strong>, we concluded a preparatory project<br />

for TIAPS in Georgia. The <strong>CEF</strong> assisted the<br />

Public Internal Control Unit of the Georgian<br />

Ministry of Finance with the initial steps in<br />

establishing the basis for implementing a<br />

Georgian TIAPS program at the certificate<br />

level. Three international modules were<br />

translated into the Georgian language and<br />

relevant local context was added. We supported<br />

setting up the localization working<br />

group that provides guidance and support<br />

in the takeover of the project by the Georgian<br />


42 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


Tax Policy and<br />

Administration<br />

Our tax policy and administration<br />

learning program addresses<br />

organizational effectiveness of tax<br />

administrations and management<br />

of core tax administration<br />

procedures.<br />

We delivered the program in collaboration with<br />

the IMF revenue administration advisor for SEE,<br />

based at the <strong>CEF</strong>, who contributed the contents<br />

and gave advice informed by his capacity development<br />

missions in the region.<br />

The lockdown happened only days before<br />

our first tax workshop of the year<br />

was scheduled. Consequently, we had<br />

to promptly adapt its topic and format. Managing<br />

Tax Administrations Through the Covid-19 Pandemic<br />

and Change was carried out as an online course<br />

where we promoted the exchange of experiences on<br />

how tax administrations managed their responses<br />

to the evolving Covid-19 pandemic.<br />

We connected senior tax administration officials and<br />

supported them in adopting, learning and relearning<br />

new skills to manage and lead their teams and institutional<br />

responses to Covid-19 realities. In times of<br />

big uncertainty, managers considered this event as<br />

a rare opportunity to talk and help each other.<br />

We continued working with a strong and reliable<br />

network of international and regional experts<br />

that created valuable synergies in bridging regional<br />

knowledge gaps. We are proud that there were<br />

more regional experts involved in active contribution<br />

during the learning processes than ever before. The<br />

online environment also enabled us to host more<br />

participants from different countries.<br />

EVENTS<br />

Developing Tax Administration<br />

Change Management Capability<br />

Tax Audit in the Context of Behavioral<br />

Compliance Risk Management (<strong>CEF</strong>,<br />

Slovenia)<br />

Managing Tax Administrations<br />

Through the Covid-19 Pandemic and<br />

Change<br />

Increasing Taxpayer Compliance and<br />

Reducing Compliance Costs<br />

Identifying Tax Fraud, including<br />

Online Trade<br />

Fostering Domestic Revenue<br />

Mobilization (DRM) through<br />

Cooperation<br />

Estimating the Tax Gap<br />

Auditing Value-Added Tax<br />


• International Monetary Fund<br />

• Ministry of Finance, the Netherlands<br />

• Ministry of Finance, Slovenia<br />


• Customs and Tax Administration, Denmark<br />

• Financial Administration of the Republic of<br />

Slovenia<br />

• Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities,<br />

North Macedonia<br />

• International Monetary Fund<br />

• Ministry of Finance and Economy, Albania<br />

• Organization for Economic Co-operation and<br />

Development<br />

• Public Revenue Office, North Macedonia<br />

• Tax Administration of Kosovo<br />

Maja Tomšič Pavlič<br />

Program Specialist and thematic area lead

44 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


Central Banking<br />

With the learning program<br />

for central banks, we aim to<br />

strengthen institutional capacities<br />

in their efforts to contribute<br />

towards financial stability and<br />

growth, through maintaining a<br />

sound and stable macro-economic<br />

and financial sector environment,<br />

and supporting financial services<br />

and infrastructure, as well as good<br />

governance and their effective<br />

operations.<br />

Given the circumstances, I am happy<br />

that we were able to hold at least one<br />

face-to-face event in <strong>2020</strong>, all others<br />

were online. We introduced new topics in our program,<br />

such as financial <strong>report</strong>ing in central banks,<br />

the reforms of benchmark interest rates, insurance<br />

market supervision, bank recovery and resolution,<br />

and supervisory approach to capital and liquidity<br />

adequacy assessment processes. As a continuation<br />

from the previous year, we delved further into the<br />

practices of integrating climate risks in stress tests.<br />

On top of the planned program, we organized a<br />

webinar on cyber risks as a response to increased<br />

remote work. The webinar was a combination of<br />

guidance and exchange of practical experience by<br />

IT professionals at central banks from the region.<br />

We further developed the scope of banking regulation<br />

and supervision capacity development project<br />

proposal, which we are preparing jointly with<br />

the IMF. We conducted a survey that identified the<br />

needs and narrowed down their scope.<br />

EVENTS<br />

Monetary Policy Implementation in<br />

the Eurosystem (<strong>CEF</strong>, Slovenia)<br />

Review of Capital and Liquidity<br />

Adequacy Processes<br />

Interest Rate Benchmark Reforms<br />

Financial Reporting to the<br />

Management<br />

Financial Inclusion and Literacy<br />

Oversight of Payment and<br />

Settlement Systems<br />

Cyber-risks of Remote Work During<br />

the Covid-19 Pandemic<br />

Insurance Supervision and Risk<br />

Management<br />

Bank Recovery and Resolution<br />

Integrating Climate Risks in Stress<br />

Testing<br />


• Banka Slovenije<br />

• Ministry of Finance, Slovenia<br />


• Bank of Albania<br />

• Banque de France<br />

• Central Bank of Armenia<br />

• Central Bank of Montenegro<br />

• CIPFA<br />

• Council on Economic Policies, Switzerland<br />

• De Nederlandsche Bank<br />

• ECB<br />

• Insurance Supervision Agency, Slovenia<br />

• Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and<br />

Development, Slovenia<br />

• International Monetary Fund<br />

• National Bank of Moldova<br />

• National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia<br />

• National Bank of Romania<br />

Matija Čarman<br />

Program Specialist and thematic area lead

46 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


Data and Analysis<br />

for Designing Policies<br />

One of the objectives of the data<br />

and analysis for designing policies<br />

(DAP) learning program is to promote<br />

the importance of evidence-based<br />

approach to policymaking. Topics<br />

of this cross-cutting thematic area<br />

were tackled also at the events of<br />

Leadership for Managing Reforms<br />

and Budget Preparation and<br />

Execution programs.<br />

EVENTS<br />

Statistics on International Trade in<br />

Goods and Services (<strong>CEF</strong>, Slovenia)<br />

Tips for Better Economic Policy<br />

Analysis Reporting<br />

Conducting Financial and Expenditure<br />

Analysis in the Public Sector<br />


Conducting Financial and Expenditure Analysis<br />

in the Public Sector– Case Study on the Slovak<br />

Republic (online publication)<br />

https://www.cef-see.org/publications<br />


• Banka Slovenije<br />

• Ministry of Finance, Slovakia<br />

• Ministry of Finance, Slovenia<br />


• Ministry of Finance, the Netherlands<br />

• Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and<br />

Development, Slovenia<br />

• International Monetary Fund<br />

We support this objective by including experts,<br />

specialized in different analytical<br />

work, at events where different policy measures<br />

are discussed, such as the Managing Financing<br />

and Costing of Pension System Reforms workshop. We<br />

added the perspective of analytical support as one of<br />

the important elements in decision making processes.<br />

We additionally engaged participants in a negotiation<br />

process, while offering them a different level of understanding<br />

of the effects, caused by various pension reform<br />

measures. We also showcased the weight of data<br />

and other aspects in reaching decisions.<br />

Another occasion where we added the DAP perspective<br />

is the broadcasting event Navigating Towards the<br />

New Normal Economy. We brought together representatives<br />

of the private and public sector. This way<br />

we were able to bring forward answers to how they<br />

managed with limited information and data to make<br />

decisions or design policies in pandemic times when<br />

clear information became scarce.<br />

Another very important aspect of DAP is integrating<br />

social learning principles in our activities. At the event<br />

Conducting Financial and Expenditure Analysis in the<br />

Public Sector, we dedicated a whole unit to recognizing<br />

participants as experts and learning from each<br />

other’s experiences.<br />

Nina Agić<br />

Program Officer and thematic area lead

48 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />



Our governance structure consists of the<br />

Governing Board, the Advisory Board, the<br />

Coordinators, and the Secretariat with<br />

distinct and complementary goals and<br />

responsibilities.<br />

Governing Board<br />

Ministers, Governors and<br />

heads of other relevant<br />

institutions, or their nominated<br />

representatives and up to<br />

three representatives of the<br />

Advisory Board<br />

Decision Making<br />

Body<br />

Advisory Board<br />

Advisory group of experts<br />

from donor and partner<br />

institutions<br />

Advisory<br />

Consultative<br />

Bodies<br />

Coordinators<br />

Representatives of<br />

constituency institutions<br />

responsible for human<br />

capacity development

50 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


Governing Board<br />

The Governing Board is the key decision-making body of the<br />

<strong>CEF</strong>. It steers our work by guiding the strategic directions and<br />

activities of the <strong>CEF</strong>, reviews progress, annual <strong>report</strong>s and<br />

financial statements, and deliberates on other relevant issues.<br />


CHAIR OF THE <strong>CEF</strong>’S GOVERNING BOARD<br />

(JUNE 11, <strong>2020</strong> UNTIL JUNE 8, 2021)<br />

Members of the Governing Board are ministers of finance and/or governors of central<br />

banks from <strong>CEF</strong> member countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Montenegro,<br />

North Macedonia, Romania, and Slovenia. The Governing Board also includes up to<br />

three representatives of the Advisory Board.<br />

2019 <strong>CEF</strong> GOVERNING BOARD MEETING,<br />


The Governing Board is currently chaired by Mugur Isârescu, Governor of the National<br />

Bank of Romania. Due to the Covid-19 pandemics, the annual meeting of the <strong>CEF</strong><br />

Governing Board was for the first time carried out as a virtual meeting on June 6,<br />

<strong>2020</strong>, chaired by Radoje Žugić, Governor of the Central Bank of Montenegro. Another<br />

meeting was held through correspondence during September 11–25, <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

MEMBERS OF THE <strong>CEF</strong> GOVERNING BOARD (APRIL 30, 2021)<br />

Anila Denaj, Minister<br />

Gent Sejko, Governor<br />

Kiril Ananiev, Minister<br />

Ministry of Finance, Albania<br />

Bank of Albania<br />

Ministry of Finance, Bulgaria<br />

/ Ministry of Finance, Moldova<br />

Octavian Armaşu, Governor<br />

Milojko Spajić, Minister<br />

Radoje Žugić, Governor<br />

Fatmir Besimi, Minister<br />

Anita Angelovska Bezhoska, Governor<br />

Alexandru Nazare, Minister<br />

Mugur Isărescu, Governor<br />

Andrej Šircelj, Minister<br />

Boštjan Vasle, Governor<br />

Andreja Jerina*<br />

Birger Nerré*<br />

Martin Polónyi*<br />

National Bank of Moldova<br />

Ministry of Finance and Social Welfare, Montenegro<br />

Central Bank of Montenegro<br />

Ministry of Finance, North Macedonia<br />

National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia<br />

Ministry of Public Finance, Romania<br />

National Bank of Romania<br />

Ministry of Finance, Slovenia<br />

Banka Slovenije<br />

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia<br />

Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale<br />

Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)<br />

Ministry of Finance, Slovakia<br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

<strong>CEF</strong><br />

<strong>CEF</strong><br />



BOARD<br />

BOARD<br />





* Representatives of the Advisory Board

52 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


Advisory Board<br />




The <strong>CEF</strong> is an important<br />

implementor of the Official<br />

Development Aid policy orientation<br />

in Slovenia. It often tops up Slovenian<br />

bilateral efforts. For the future,<br />

we appreciate the <strong>CEF</strong>’s openness to enhance<br />

their activities in potential new <strong>CEF</strong><br />

members, rounding up a multi-country<br />

approach which often proves to be more<br />

efficient than single country efforts. Focusing<br />

on an enabling environment that<br />

is ready for changes and reforms is meaningful<br />

contribution in the Western Balkan<br />

region and its neighbourhood, as it brings<br />

stability and progress. Relevance and mutual<br />

respect create trust – the foundation<br />

for sustainable change.<br />

Andreja Jerina<br />

Chair of the <strong>CEF</strong> Advisory Board<br />

National Coordinator for EU macroregional<br />

strategies<br />

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia<br />

An advisory group of experts from<br />

our donors and partners assists<br />

the <strong>CEF</strong> Secretariat in designing<br />

and coordinating the delivery of<br />

activities. It provides support by<br />

giving advice on the relevance of the<br />

<strong>CEF</strong> program for the region.<br />

The Advisory Board has currently three representatives<br />

in the Governing Board from GIZ,<br />

Ministry of Finance, Slovakia and Ministry of<br />

Foreign Affairs, Slovenia. Chair of the Advisory<br />

Board is Andreja Jerina from the Ministry of<br />

Foreign Affairs, Slovenia.<br />

The annual meeting of the Advisory Board was<br />

organized as a virtual meeting on November 5,<br />

<strong>2020</strong>.<br />


AT THE <strong>2020</strong> ADVISORY BOARD MEETING<br />

• Banka Slovenije<br />

• GIZ<br />

• Ministry of Finance, the Netherlands<br />

• Ministry of Finance, Slovakia<br />

• Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia<br />

• National Bank of Belgium<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong> partners with multilateral and<br />

bilateral organizations, knowledge institutions,<br />

and peer organizations. Partners play<br />

a crucial role in the implementation of our<br />

learning program by providing resources,<br />

expertise, learning methodologies or other<br />

relevant tools. Together we create a strong<br />

network and meaningful synergies in supporting<br />

the region in its reform efforts.<br />

We are in touch with our partners regularly.<br />

In <strong>2020</strong>, we also managed to informally<br />

meet our partners and service providers<br />

based in Slovenia in person at our traditional<br />

after-New-Year gathering.<br />

For years, we have partnered closely with the IMF. The institutions<br />

signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2017.<br />

The partnership is complementary. While the <strong>CEF</strong> provides<br />

a peer-to-peer learning and knowledge sharing program, the<br />

IMF offers country-specific capacity development support to<br />

the countries of SEE. Many of the <strong>CEF</strong> courses are co-delivered<br />

with the IMF regional advisors for SEE or colleagues<br />

from the IMF headquarters. These joint activities are proof<br />

that learning and technical cooperation can work hand in<br />

hand and promote sustainability of capacity development in<br />

our constituency.<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong> currently hosts two IMF Fiscal Affairs Department capacity<br />

development advisors for PFM and revenue administration.<br />

Their work in <strong>2020</strong> is highlighted in the Appendix.

54 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


The IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department<br />

(FAD) and the <strong>CEF</strong><br />

share a history of close cooperation<br />

that already spans two decades.<br />

This has helped countries in SEE in their<br />

efforts to improve fiscal institutions. In<br />

<strong>2020</strong>, despite the Covid-19 pandemic,<br />

we continued to work together and deliver<br />

for the benefit of SEE countries. This was<br />

only possible because FAD and <strong>CEF</strong> activities<br />

quickly shifted to a virtual delivery.<br />

The FAD-<strong>CEF</strong> cooperation leverages complementarities<br />

between FAD capacity<br />

development which is tailored to specific<br />

countries’ circumstances and the<br />

regionally-based learning opportunities<br />

offered by the <strong>CEF</strong>. We look forward to<br />

continuing our excellent cooperation in a<br />

fast-changing world that will even more<br />

demanding for public finances.<br />

Vitor Gaspar<br />

Director<br />

Fiscal Affairs Department<br />

International Monetary Fund<br />



Partners’ contributions in cash are recorded and <strong>report</strong>ed<br />

in the <strong>CEF</strong>’s financial statements. The in-kind contributions<br />

that are not recorded and <strong>report</strong>ed in the financial<br />

statements are <strong>report</strong>ed in the table below. Several<br />

partner institutions and donors sponsor lecturers (travel<br />

expenses and lecturing fees) for their engagement in<br />

<strong>CEF</strong> learning activities. For the purpose of this <strong>report</strong>, a<br />

lecturing day is estimated at EUR 1,000 (including the<br />

preparation time). Travel expenses are estimated to be<br />

EUR 1,500 based on historical data, whereby sending<br />

institutions covered travel expenses in 50% of cases. A<br />

weighted travel lump sum of EUR 750 is hence applied<br />

to all individual expert engagements.<br />

Institution<br />


TOTAL<br />

days<br />


EUR<br />

Bank of Albania 32.75 32,7500<br />

Banka Slovenije 10.75 10,750<br />

Bled School of Management (IEDC), Slovenia 0.5 500<br />

Court of Audit, Slovenia 2 2,000<br />

Directorate for Economic Planning, Bosnia and Herzegovina 0.75 750<br />

Institute for Economic Research, Slovenia 1.25 1,250<br />

Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development<br />

(and other government institutions), Slovenia<br />

3.25 3,250<br />

Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities, North Macedonia 0.5 500<br />

Ministry of Finance and Economy, Albania 1.25 1,250<br />

Ministry of Finance and Social Welfare (and other government institutions), Montenegro 0.5 500<br />

Ministry of Finance (and other government institutions), North Macedonia 2.75 2,750<br />

Presidential and Budget Strategy Office (and other government institutions), Turkey 0.75 750<br />

National Bank of Moldova 1.5 1,500<br />

National Bank of Romania 0.75 750<br />

Tax Administration of Kosovo (and other government institutions) 3.75 3,750<br />

Others* 1.75 1,750<br />


Banque de France 5 5,000<br />

CIPFA 0.5 500<br />

Massey University School of Accountancy, New Zealand 0.5 500<br />

Ministry of Finance (and other government offices), Georgia 3 3,000<br />

Ministry of Finance (and other government offices), the Netherlands 29.25 29,250<br />

Customs and Tax Administration, Denmark 3.5 3,500<br />

Others** 1.75 1,750<br />



European Commission and Delegations of the EU in SEE 7.75 7,750<br />

IMF 21.25 21,250<br />

OECD 0.5 500<br />

ECB 2 2,000<br />

The World Bank Group and PEFA 2.25 2,250<br />

UNESCO-IIEP 0.5 500<br />

TOTAL ALL 119.25 119,250<br />

* State Supreme Audit, Albania; Central Bank of Montenegro; Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, North Macedonia; National Bank of the Republic of<br />

North Macedonia; Ministry of Finance, Serbia; Tax Administration, Bulgaria.<br />

** Central Bank of Armenia, Council of Economic Policy, Switzerland, Parliamentary Budget Office Austria, National Bank of Belgium, Government of<br />

the Brussels Region, Belgium; De Nederlandsche Bank, the Netherlands; Financial Administration Academy, Slovakia; NIRAS, Ukraine; Kennedy<br />

School, Harvard University, USA.

56 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


<strong>CEF</strong> COORDINATORS<br />


At the beginning, it was all very strange…<br />

I started to work from home. At the same<br />

time, I had to take care of my kids, all under<br />

one roof. Thanks to our committed<br />

HR team, we successfully responded to<br />

the increased and extended activities in<br />

our department.<br />

However, there was more time for family<br />

discussions and joint activities, and<br />

making plans for the future. I also noticed<br />

that in these strange times, humor<br />

helps people cope with stress and<br />

achieve inner peace.<br />

Aleksandra Kacarski<br />

National Bank of the Republic<br />

of North Macedonia<br />

<strong>CEF</strong> Coordinator<br />

Read more about the “corona<br />

impressions” from our Coordinators and<br />

their institutions<br />

https://centerofexcellenceinfinance.<br />

exposure.co/cef-coordinator-interviews<br />

Coordinators<br />

Coordinators are appointed<br />

representatives of our<br />

constituency’s ministries<br />

of finance, central banks<br />

and tax administrations<br />

that are responsible for<br />

capacity development and<br />

strategic human resources<br />

management in their<br />

institutions. They help us<br />

identify learning needs and<br />

trends in the region.<br />

The Coordinators meet biennially. In<br />

<strong>2020</strong>, we were scheduled to convene in<br />

Romania, however, Covid-19 forced us to<br />

instead organize a series of virtual meetings<br />

that addressed pressing issues.<br />

EVENTS<br />

Personal and Institutional<br />

Resilience in Times of Crisis<br />

Communication in Times of<br />

Crisis<br />

Leadership in Times of Crisis<br />

Organizational Learning in<br />

Times of Crisis<br />

<strong>CEF</strong> COORDINATORS (AS AT APRIL 30, 2021)<br />

Vasilika Vjero<br />

Ministry of Finance and Economy, Albania<br />

Gramoz Kolasi<br />

Bank of Albania<br />

Eriola Sada<br />

General Taxation Directorate, Albania<br />

Sehija Mujkanović<br />

Ministry of Finance and Treasury, Bosnia and Herzegovina<br />

Enes Kurtović<br />

Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina<br />

Denisa Seho<br />

Indirect Taxation Authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina<br />

Amela Kazazić<br />

Tax Administration of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina<br />

Sandra Kovačević<br />

Tax Administration of Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina<br />

Galina Tzekova<br />

Ministry of Finance, Bulgaria<br />

Stoyan Bozhkov<br />

Bulgarian National Bank<br />

Boryana Yankova-Sharkova National Revenue Agency, Bulgaria<br />

Andrea Kocelj<br />

Ministry of Finance, Croatia<br />

Marija Lončar<br />

Ministry of Finance, Tax Administration, Croatia<br />

Orhan Devaja<br />

Ministry of Finance, Kosovo<br />

Syzana Mahmutaj<br />

Central Bank of the Republic of Kosovo<br />

Floransa Sahiti<br />

Tax Administration of Kosovo<br />

Tatiana Onici<br />

Ministry of Finance, Moldova<br />

Natalia Zabolotnii<br />

National Bank of Moldova<br />

Silvia Caitaz<br />

State Tax Service, Moldova<br />

Aleksandra Marković<br />

Ministry of Finance and Social Welfare, Montenegro<br />

Ana Šćepanović<br />

Central Bank of Montenegro<br />

Lidija Šećković<br />

Tax Administration of Montenegro<br />

Jordan Trajkovski<br />

Ministry of Finance, North Macedonia<br />

Aleksandra Kacarski<br />

National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia<br />

Marjan Mihajlovski<br />

Public Revenue Office, North Macedonia<br />

Mugur Tolici<br />

National Bank of Romania<br />

Iulia-Mihaela Barbieru National Agency for Fiscal Administration, Romania<br />

Bojana Drobnjak<br />

National Bank of Serbia<br />

Snezana Ilić<br />

Tax Administration, Serbia<br />

Sanja Pregl<br />

Banka Slovenije<br />

Nataša Marušič Kuhar Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia<br />

Taşkın Babaoğlan<br />

Presidency of Strategy and Budget, Turkey<br />

Süleyman Kutalmış Özcan Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey<br />

Ministries of finance of Romania, Slovenia and Serbia had no coordinators appointed at the time of printing this <strong>Annual</strong> Report.

58 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


The <strong>CEF</strong> and its Coordinators meet every two years to exchange<br />

ideas and good practices in learning, and to discuss how they<br />

could be part of the <strong>CEF</strong> learning and networking program.<br />

In <strong>2020</strong>, we could not meet in Bucharest due to the pandemic.<br />

Instead, we transformed our meeting into a series<br />

of virtual sessions, delivered in cooperation with the Coordinators<br />

as co-designers, working closely also with other<br />

experts. We also offered other participants from the <strong>CEF</strong><br />

constituency to attend these virtual sessions. Additionally,<br />

we invited another group closely related to the <strong>CEF</strong> to<br />

join the sessions - the Coordinators of the ERPs, our main<br />

partners in the implementation of the EU project FISR.<br />

Here is the journey of four virtual sessions replacing the<br />

<strong>CEF</strong> Coordinators meeting:<br />

• Personal and Institutional Resilience in Times of Crisis<br />

• Communication in Times of Crisis<br />

• Leadership in Times of Crisis<br />

• Organizational Learning in Times of Crisis<br />

Coordinators’ Meeting <strong>2020</strong><br />


60 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


Secretariat<br />

Our day-to-day activities are carried out by the<br />

director, experts and staff that comprise the <strong>CEF</strong><br />

Secretariat.<br />

At the end of <strong>2020</strong>, there were 33 members of the <strong>CEF</strong> Secretariat.<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong> team is international in character and diverse, with members<br />

from Albania, Georgia, Germany, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia<br />

and Turkey. We speak most of the languages of our region.<br />

We have also included nine affiliated experts in the delivery of<br />

the learning and knowledge sharing program. In addition, two IMF<br />

regional capacity development advisors and their interpreter work<br />

at the <strong>CEF</strong>.<br />

<strong>CEF</strong> CORE VALUES<br />

In our work we follow core values that we have defined together.<br />

TRUST: We trust ourselves and each other in our<br />

goal to deliver high-quality programs, support regional<br />

cooperation, and work effectively with our<br />

partners.<br />

TEAM SPIRIT: We respect, accept and support<br />

each other in combining our diverse roles and<br />

capacities.<br />

FOCUS ON RESULTS: We set clear and measurable<br />

goals with specific action plans and efficient<br />

use of resources, while also considering<br />

staff interests and capabilities.<br />

ACCOUNTABILITY: By aligning our personal integrity<br />

with clear organizational expectations,<br />

we take responsibility for what we do, how we<br />

do it and how this affects the world around us.<br />

OPPORTUNITY TO GROW: We are committed<br />

to support an environment where we grow as<br />

individuals and team(s).

62 <strong>CEF</strong> BUSINESS REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />




The <strong>CEF</strong>’s team is highly commitment to apply environmental and social sustainability<br />

and to be good stewards of the environment and the social landscapes in<br />

which we operate. We see all these practices as value creators in our work.<br />

Although the Covid-19 pandemic has brought many challenges to work and life, it<br />

also presented an opportunity for improving sustainable practices. As a result of<br />

all our business being conducted online, we became fully digitalized.<br />

Despite the difficult circumstances, we still found a way to put social responsibility<br />

to practice. We organized many activities to improve the well-being of others as<br />

well as our team members. Here are some of the highlights.<br />

Local initiatives:<br />

• blood donation<br />

• two donations to a safe house for women and children (clothes, toys)<br />

• participating in the Donate a Notebook project (gathering school supplies for<br />

children whose parents can’t afford to buy them)<br />

• supporting the Movember and Pink October movements<br />

• computer donation to a pupil<br />

Internal initiatives:<br />

• gift certificate for books as the <strong>CEF</strong>’s <strong>2020</strong> New Year’s gift to staff<br />

• delivering appreciation packages to staff members’ homes (protection masks,<br />

feel-good gifts)<br />

• establishing a group for stress release (one hour a week)<br />

• travel the distance from Ljubljana to Tirana (and back) by counting the<br />

kilometers of walking, running, cycling, hiking and swimming by staff during<br />

the lockdown<br />

We also cultivate a learning and knowledge sharing culture promoted by all staff<br />

members. We regularly attend external trainings, conferences and other learning<br />

opportunities. Every two weeks, we exchange experience internally or invite<br />

guests from other organizations to explore new horizons. In <strong>2020</strong>, we organized<br />

17 such events, delivered as internal knowledge sharing sessions, external knowledge<br />

sharing sessions or team retreats.<br />

We also promote healthy work-life balance by offering several health-promoting<br />

opportunities. Due to the health measures taken because of Covid-19, many of<br />

them were put on hold in <strong>2020</strong>, but we will resume with these activities as soon<br />

as circumstances allow it.<br />

We promote positive organizational culture. Besides nurturing general well-being<br />

and personal development, we also regularly as an organization take part in<br />

surveys that measure the quality of the relationship between the employees and<br />

their organization.

64 <strong>CEF</strong> FINANCIAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />



REPORT<br />

Responsibility<br />

for the financial statements<br />

The Management is responsible for ensuring that the financial statements<br />

are prepared for each financial period in accordance with the International<br />

Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which give a true and fair view of the<br />

state of affairs and results of the <strong>CEF</strong>.<br />

After making enquiries, the Management has a reasonable expectation that<br />

the <strong>CEF</strong> has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the<br />

foreseeable future. For this reason, the Management continues to adopt the<br />

going concern basis in preparing the consolidated financial statements.<br />

In preparing those financial statements, the responsibilities of Management<br />

include ensuring that:<br />

• suitable accounting policies are selected and then applied consistently<br />

• judgments and estimates are reasonable and prudent<br />

• applicable accounting standards are followed, subject to any material departures<br />

disclosed and explained in the consolidated financial statements<br />

and<br />

• the financial statements are prepared on the going concern basis.<br />

Management is responsible for keeping proper accounting records, which<br />

disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time, the financial position of the<br />

<strong>CEF</strong> and its financial performance. The Management is also responsible for<br />

safeguarding the assets of the <strong>CEF</strong>, and hence, for taking reasonable steps<br />

for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.

66 <strong>CEF</strong> FINANCIAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


1. Financial Statements<br />


Items<br />

Note<br />

December<br />

31, <strong>2020</strong><br />

EUR<br />

December<br />

31, 2019<br />

Non-current assets 696,803 590,954<br />

Intangible assets 1 34,154 43,469<br />

Property, plant and equipment 2 662,649 547,486<br />

Current assets 2,357,657 1,942,827<br />

Trade receivables 3 75,508 93,020<br />

Cash and cash equivalents 4 2,282,149 1,849,806<br />

Prepayments and other assets 5 47,543 119,113<br />

TOTAL ASSETS 3,102,004 2,652,894<br />

Equity 1,409,949 1,300,795<br />

Share capital (Founder's funds) 6 4,173 4,173<br />

Capital surplus 6 225 225<br />

Fair value reserve 6 -38,491 -22,570<br />

General reserves 6 1,444,042 1,318,967<br />

EUR<br />

EUR<br />

Items Note <strong>2020</strong> 2019<br />

Revenue from program 11 2,338,116 2,737,684<br />

Other revenue 679 2,308<br />

Total revenue 2,338,795 2,739,992<br />

Cost of materials 13 57,957 85,369<br />

Cost of services 14 636,754 1,135,161<br />

Labor costs 15 1,438,499 1,305,563<br />

Depreciation and amortization costs 16 69,846 62,603<br />

Other operating costs 17 13,219 17,677<br />

Other expenses 19 0 1,724<br />

Total expenses 2,216,275 2,608,098<br />

Financial income 12 5,479 299<br />

Financial costs 18 2,924 3,398<br />

<strong>Annual</strong> result 125,075 128,794<br />

Provisions and long-term accrued costs and deferred revenue 926,171 785,231<br />

Provisions 7 229,277 194,185<br />

Long-term accrued costs and deferred revenue 8 696,895 591,046<br />

Operating liabilities 146,732 213,038<br />

Trade payables 9 16,847 64,490<br />

Liabilities to employees 9 125,661 121,588<br />

Other short-term payables 9 4,223 26,960<br />

Advances payable and other current liabilities 10 619,151 353,829<br />

TOTAL EQUITY AND LIABILITIES 3,102,004 2,652,894<br />

Accounting policies and notes are an integral part of these financial statements<br />

and should be read in conjunction with them.<br />


Comprehensive income <strong>2020</strong> 2019<br />

Excess of revenues over expenses 125,075 128,794<br />

Other comprehensive income<br />

Actuarial gains (losses) -15,920 -22,570<br />

Other comprehensive income for the period -15,920 -22,570<br />

Total comprehensive income (loss) for the period 109,155 106,224<br />

Accounting policies and notes are an integral part of these financial statements<br />

and should be read in conjunction with them.<br />

EUR<br />


68 <strong>CEF</strong> FINANCIAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />




EUR<br />

Items <strong>2020</strong> 2019<br />

Cash flows from operating activities<br />

<strong>Annual</strong> result 2,338,795 2,739,992<br />

Total expenses -2,216,275 -2,608,098<br />

Adjustments for<br />

Amortization and depreciation 69,846 62,603<br />

Actuarial gains (losses) -15,920 -22,570<br />

Write-downs of property, plant and equipment 0 92<br />

Financial income 2,560 96<br />

Financial costs -2,924 -3,398<br />

Operating profit before changes in net current assets and taxes 176,082 168,716<br />

YEAR <strong>2020</strong><br />

Items<br />

Share capital<br />

(Founder’s<br />

funds)<br />

Capital<br />

surplus<br />

Fair<br />

value<br />

reserves<br />

General<br />

reserves<br />

EUR<br />

Total<br />

equity<br />

Opening balance as of January 1, <strong>2020</strong> 4,173 225 -22,570 1,318,967 1,300,795<br />

Entry of additional capital payments 0 0 0 0 0<br />

Total comprehensive income (loss)<br />

for the period<br />

Other components of the comprehensive<br />

income for the <strong>report</strong>ing period<br />

0 0 -15,920 125,075 109,155<br />

0 0 -15,920 0 -15,920<br />

<strong>Annual</strong> result 0 0 0 125,075 125,075<br />

Closing balance as of December 31, <strong>2020</strong> 4,173 225 -38,491 1,444,042 1,409,949<br />

Changes in net current assets and provisions<br />

Change in receivables 17,513 44,062<br />

Change in prepayments and other assets 71,570 -44,211<br />

Change in operating liabilities -66,306 73,553<br />

Change in provisions 140,940 168,192<br />

Change in advances payable and other current liabilities 265,321 -961,114<br />

Net cash flow from operating activities 605,120 -550,801<br />

Cash flow from investing activities<br />

Interest received 2,919 203<br />

Acquisitions of property plant and equipment -175,695 -176,304<br />

Net cash flow from investing activities -172,776 -176,101<br />

Cash flow from financing activities<br />

Interest paid 0 0<br />

Net cash flow from financing activities 0 0<br />

Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of period 1,849,806 2,576,709<br />

YEAR 2019<br />

Items<br />

Share capital<br />

(Founder’s<br />

funds)<br />

Capital<br />

surplus<br />

Fair<br />

value<br />

reserves<br />

General<br />

reserves<br />

EUR<br />

Total<br />

equity<br />

Opening balance as of January 1, 2019 4,173 225 0 1,190,172 1,194,570<br />

Entry of additional capital payments 0 0 0 0 0<br />

Total comprehensive income (loss)<br />

for the period 0 0 -22,570 128,794 106,224<br />

Other components of the comprehensive<br />

income for the <strong>report</strong>ing period 0 0 -22,570 0 -22,570<br />

<strong>Annual</strong> result 0 0 0 128,794 128,794<br />

Closing balance as of December 31, 2019 4,173 225 -22,570 1,318,966 1,300,794<br />

Accounting policies and notes are an integral part of these financial statements<br />

and should be read in conjunction with them.<br />

Net increase in cash and cash equivalents 432,343 -726,902<br />

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of period 2,282,149 1,849,806<br />

Accounting policies and notes are an integral part of these financial statements<br />

and should be read in conjunction with them.

70 <strong>CEF</strong> FINANCIAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


2. Introductory notes and accounting policies<br />


The <strong>report</strong>ing organization Center of Excellence in Finance (<strong>CEF</strong>) is based in Slovenia. Its registered<br />

office is at Cankarjeva 18, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong> supports capacity development for finance officials in SEE through learning. Its core activities<br />

include developing, designing and implementing learning events and knowledge products<br />

in the areas of public financial management, tax policy and administration, central banking, data<br />

analysis for designing policies and leadership for managing reforms.<br />

The financial statements of the <strong>CEF</strong> were prepared for the business year that ended on December<br />

31, <strong>2020</strong>.<br />


(A) STATEMENT OF COMPLIANCE. The financial statements were prepared in accordance with<br />

the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as adopted by the EU and the provisions<br />

of the <strong>CEF</strong> Internal Rules.<br />

The financial statements were approved by the <strong>CEF</strong> Director on May 5, 2021.<br />

The financial statements were compiled in accordance with the assumption of ongoing concern.<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong>’s work is not influenced by seasons; however, the financial result depends on the number<br />

and duration of approved projects. COVID-19 did not affect implementation of the program in<br />

quantity. Program that was planned to be delivered in classrooms was delivered online.<br />

(B) MEASUREMENT BASIS. The financial statements were compiled on a historical cost basis.<br />

(C) FUNCTIONAL AND PRESENTATION CURRENCY. The financial statements are expressed in<br />

euros, the <strong>CEF</strong>’s functional currency. All accounting data presented in euros are rounded to the<br />

nearest integer.<br />

(D) REPORTING PERIOD. The <strong>CEF</strong>’s financial year equals the calendar year.<br />

(E) USE OF ESTIMATES AND JUDGMENTS. When preparing the financial statements, the <strong>CEF</strong>’s<br />

management is required to make judgments, estimates and assumptions that affect the application<br />

of accounting policies and the <strong>report</strong>ed values of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses<br />

in accordance with the IFRS. Actual results may vary from these estimates.<br />

The estimates and underlying assumptions are reviewed on a regular basis. Revisions to accounting<br />

estimates are recognized in the period in which the estimate is revised and in any future periods<br />

affected. Estimates and assumptions are mainly associated with: estimated useful lives of<br />

amortizable assets, asset impairment, employee earnings, provisions, and contingent liabilities.<br />


The <strong>CEF</strong> has consistently applied the accounting policies to all periods presented in its financial<br />

statements.<br />


Foreign currency transactions<br />

Foreign currency transactions are converted into the functional currency of the <strong>CEF</strong> using the<br />

exchange rate applied on the day they arise. Cash, cash equivalents and liabilities denominated<br />

in foreign currencies are converted into the functional currency using the exchange rate applicable<br />

at the end of the <strong>report</strong>ing period. Positive or negative exchange differences are differences<br />

between the amortized cost in the functional currency at the beginning of the period, increased<br />

or decreased by the amount of applicable interest and payments in the period, and the amortized<br />

cost expressed in foreign currency, converted using the exchange rate at the end of the period.<br />

Exchange rate differences are recognized in the income statement.<br />

The ECB’s reference exchange rates and the monthly exchange rates of Banka Slovenije for currencies<br />

for which the ECB does not publish reference exchange rates are used to convert receivables<br />

denominated in foreign currencies.<br />


Non-derivative financial assets<br />

Receivables and deposits are initially recognized on the day they arise. Financial assets are<br />

derecognized when the contractual rights to cash flows from these assets expire, or when the<br />

<strong>CEF</strong> transfers the rights to cash flows from financial assets based on a transaction that involves<br />

the transfer of all risks and benefits associated with the ownership of the financial asset.<br />

Depending on their maturity, they are classified as current financial assets (maturity of up to 12<br />

months from the date of the statement of financial position) or non-current financial assets (maturity<br />

of more than 12 months from the date of the statement of financial position). Deposits and<br />

receivables are recognized initially at fair value plus any directly attributable transaction costs.<br />

Subsequent to initial recognition, they are measured at amortized cost using the effective interest<br />

method, less any impairment losses.<br />

Receivables<br />

Loans and receivables are non-derivative financial assets with fixed or determinable payments<br />

not quoted on an active market. They are initially recognized at fair value and increased by any direct<br />

transaction costs. After initial recognition, loans and receivables are measured at amortized<br />

cost using the effective interest rate method, less any impairment losses. Loans and receivables<br />

include operating and other receivables.<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong> does not invest in non-derivative financial assets with fixed or determinable payments.<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong> checks the materiality of disclosed receivables at least once a year. Receivables, for<br />

which there exists the possibility that they will not be settled in part (or not at all) within 180 days<br />

of maturity, are generally deemed as doubtful. The <strong>CEF</strong> creates an allowance for doubtful and<br />

disputed receivables in an amount equal to 100%, which is charged to revaluation expenses. <strong>CEF</strong><br />

did not make material changes to impairment policy for undue receivables as IFRS 9 requires, as<br />

the effects are immaterial.

72 <strong>CEF</strong> FINANCIAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


Cash and cash equivalents<br />

Cash and cash equivalents include cash in hand and sight deposits.<br />

Financial and operating liabilities<br />

Other financial and operating liabilities are initially recognized at fair value on the day they arise,<br />

and afterwards at amortized cost, using the effective interest rate method.<br />

Liabilities are only derecognized if they have been extinguished, meaning that they have been<br />

fulfilled. The difference between the carrying amount of liabilities that have been extinguished<br />

and the consideration paid (including non-monetary assets or assumed liabilities) is recognized<br />

immediately in the profit or loss account.<br />

Share capital (Founder’s funds)<br />

Share capital is the capital contributed by the founder. The <strong>CEF</strong>’s total equity comprises capital<br />

and capital surplus.<br />

General reserves<br />

As envisaged in Article 17 of the <strong>CEF</strong> Financial Rules and Regulations, general reserves are created<br />

to cover the annual running costs of the <strong>CEF</strong> and its core program and shall amount at least<br />

to the total sum of one million euro. Financial result of the year shall be transferred to the general<br />

reserves, unless otherwise decided by the Governing Board.<br />


Recognition and measurement<br />

Items of property, plant and equipment are disclosed at historical cost, less depreciation costs<br />

and impairment losses.<br />

Costs of assets produced comprise the costs of materials, direct costs of labor, other costs that<br />

can be directly attributed to enabling the use of assets for their intended purpose, costs of disposal<br />

and removal, costs of restoring the location of the asset to its original state, and capitalized<br />

borrowing costs.<br />

Any computer software that contributes significantly to the assets’ functionality should be capitalized<br />

as part of these assets.<br />

Components of items of property, plant and equipment that have different useful lives are accounted<br />

for as separate items.<br />

Subsequent costs<br />

Costs arising from the replacement of parts of fixed assets are recognized at carrying value if<br />

future economic benefits associated with a part are likely to increase and if its historical cost can<br />

be measured reliably. All other costs (such as daily maintenance) are recognized as expenses in<br />

the income statement in the period they arise.<br />

Spare parts<br />

Spare parts and maintenance equipment of lower value with useful lives of up to one year are<br />

treated as inventory and recognized as costs in the income statement. Spare parts and equipment<br />

of significant value with estimated useful lives exceeding one year are recognized as items<br />

of property, plant and equipment.<br />

Depreciation<br />

Depreciation is calculated using the straight-line method based on the useful life of each component<br />

of an item of property, plant and equipment. This is the most accurate method for predicting<br />

asset usage patterns.<br />

Estimated useful lives for the current and comparative period are as follows:<br />

Depreciation rates <strong>2020</strong> 2019<br />

Computer equipment, mobile phone, copy machine 2–3 years 2–3 years<br />

Investment in premises 33 years 33 years<br />

Other equipment 3–5 years 3–5 years<br />

Depreciation methods, useful lives and residual values are reviewed at the end of the <strong>report</strong>ing<br />

period and adjusted if necessary. No changes in recording depreciation were applied in <strong>2020</strong>.<br />


Other intangible assets<br />

Other intangible assets with limited useful lives are disclosed at historical cost, less amortization<br />

costs and accumulated impairment losses.<br />

Subsequent costs<br />

Subsequent costs associated with intangible assets are only capitalized if they increase future<br />

economic benefits arising from the asset to which the cost is related. All other costs are recognized<br />

as expenses in the income statement when they arise.<br />

Amortization<br />

Amortization is calculated based on an asset’s purchase value or another value that is used<br />

instead. Amortization is recognized in the income statement using the straight-line method and<br />

is based on the useful life of intangible assets, starting from the date the asset is available for<br />

use. This is the most accurate method for predicting the patterns of future economic benefits<br />

associated with the asset.<br />

Estimated useful lives for the current and comparative year are as follows:<br />

Amortization rates <strong>2020</strong> 2019<br />

Software 2–3 years 2–3 years<br />

Other intangible assets 2–3 years 2–3 years<br />

Amortization methods, useful lives and other values are reviewed at the end of each business<br />

year and adjusted if necessary. No changes in recording amortization were applied in <strong>2020</strong>.

74 <strong>CEF</strong> FINANCIAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />



Costs that will occur in the next financial year, but were already paid in the financial year, are<br />

recorded as short-term deferred costs.<br />

Short-term accrued revenues are revenues where costs occurred in the financial period but the<br />

formal <strong>report</strong> and reimbursement request will be submitted to the donor in the next financial year.<br />


Liabilities from short-term employee earnings are measured on an undiscounted basis and are<br />

recognized as expenses as soon as the work is performed by an employee and comprise basic<br />

gross salary, allowances, and benefits.<br />


The <strong>CEF</strong> records short-term deferred revenues for revenues from projects that were received in<br />

the financial year (as advance payments) for deliverables due in the next financial year.<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong> <strong>report</strong>s short-term accrued costs for materials and services that were delivered in the<br />

financial year, but for which invoices will be received in the next financial year.<br />

(I) REVENUE<br />

Revenue is recognized as follows:<br />

For long-term projects, the revenue from services rendered is recognized based on the stage of<br />

completion as at the balance sheet date. Under this method, the revenue is recognized in the<br />

accounting period in which the services are rendered.<br />

Grants<br />

All types of grants are recognized in the financial statements when the <strong>CEF</strong> submits a <strong>report</strong><br />

and/or issues a reimbursement request or a payment request. In addition, they are recognized in<br />

deferred revenues when the work was done but the <strong>report</strong> was not submitted by the end of the<br />

financial year.<br />

Deferred/accrued revenues and expenses<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong> records in short-term deferred revenues advance payments received for projects with<br />

expected deliverables in the next financial year. Short-term accrued revenues comprise revenues<br />

generated from activities delivered in the financial year that will be <strong>report</strong>ed and paid for in the<br />

next financial year.<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong> records in short-term deferred costs expenses that were paid in the financial year (such<br />

as advance payments) that will occur in the next financial year, and in short-term accrued costs<br />

expenses in the financial year for which invoices have not yet arrived.<br />


Provisions are recognized for legal or constructive obligation as a result of a past event that can<br />

be measured reliably, and it is probable that an outflow of economic benefits will be required to<br />

settle the obligation. Provisions are determined by discounting expected future cash flows at a<br />

pre-tax rate that reflects current market assessments of the time value of money, and—where<br />

appropriate—the risks specific to the liability.<br />

Provisions for severance payments and long-service bonuses<br />

Pursuant to the internal rules, the <strong>CEF</strong> is obliged to pay long-service bonuses and severance<br />

payments to employees and has created long-term provisions for this purpose. There are no other<br />

obligations relating to pensions. Provisions are created in the amount of estimated future severance<br />

payments and long-service bonuses, discounted at the end of the <strong>report</strong>ing period.<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong> created non-current provisions in 2018 for long-service bonuses and severance payments<br />

at retirement as the present value of future payments required to settle liabilities arising<br />

from employees’ service in the current and future periods, taking into account the costs of severance<br />

payments at retirement and the costs of all expected long-service bonuses until retirement.<br />

A discount rate of 0,724% was set for the calculation on December 31, <strong>2020</strong> based on the yields<br />

on 15-year corporate bonds with high credit rating in the euro area. The calculation was prepared<br />

by an outsourced actuary.<br />

Labor costs and interest expenses are recognized in the income statement, while recalculated<br />

post-employment benefits and unrealized actuarial gains or losses from severance pay are recognized<br />

as an equity item in other comprehensive income.<br />


Financial income includes interest from deposits and positive exchange rate differences.<br />

Financial expenses include negative exchange rate differences.<br />



The following new standards, amendments to the existing standards and interpretation issued by<br />

the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) are effective for the current <strong>report</strong>ing period:<br />

• Amendments to IFRS 3 “Business Combinations” - Definition of a Business (effective for business<br />

combinations for which the acquisition date is on or after the beginning of the first annual<br />

<strong>report</strong>ing period beginning on or after January 1, <strong>2020</strong> and to asset acquisitions that occur on<br />

or after the beginning of that period).<br />

• Amendments to IFRS 9 “Financial Instruments”, IAS 39 “Financial Instruments: Recognition<br />

and Measurement” and IFRS 7 “Financial Instruments: Disclosures” - Interest Rate Benchmark<br />

Reform (effective for annual periods beginning on or after January 1, <strong>2020</strong>),<br />

• Amendments to IAS 1 “Presentation of Financial Statements” and IAS 8 “Accounting Policies,<br />

Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors” - Definition of Material (effective for annual periods<br />

beginning on or after January 1, <strong>2020</strong>),<br />

• Amendments to References to the Conceptual Framework in IFRS Standards (effective for<br />

annual periods beginning on or after January 1, <strong>2020</strong>).

76 <strong>CEF</strong> FINANCIAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


The adoption of these new standards, amendments to the existing standards and interpretation<br />

has not led to any material changes in the <strong>CEF</strong>’s financial statements.<br />

3. Notes to the financial statements<br />


At the date of authorization of these financial statements, the following new standards, amendments<br />

to existing standards and new interpretation were in issue, but not yet effective:<br />

• IFRS 17 “Insurance Contracts” including amendments to IFRS 17 (effective for annual periods<br />

beginning on or after January 1, 2023),<br />

• Amendments to IFRS 3 “Business Combinations” - Reference to the Conceptual Framework<br />

with amendments to IFRS 3 (effective for annual periods beginning on or after January 1,<br />

2022),<br />

• Amendments to IFRS 4 “Insurance Contracts” – Extension of the Temporary Exemption from<br />

Applying IFRS 9 (the expiry date for the temporary exemption from IFRS 9 was extended to<br />

annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2023),<br />

• Amendments to IFRS 10 “Consolidated Financial Statements” and IAS 28 “Investments in<br />

Associates and Joint Ventures” - Sale or Contribution of Assets between an Investor and its<br />

Associate or Joint Venture and further amendments (effective date deferred indefinitely until<br />

the research project on the equity method has been concluded),<br />

• Amendments to IFRS 16 “Leases” - Covid-19-Related Rent Concessions (effective for annual<br />

periods beginning on or after June 1, <strong>2020</strong>. Earlier application is permitted, including in financial<br />

statements not yet authorized for issue at May 28, <strong>2020</strong>. The amendment is also available<br />

for interim <strong>report</strong>s.),*<br />

• Amendments to IAS 1 “Presentation of Financial Statements” - Classification of Liabilities as<br />

Current or Non-Current (effective for annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2023),<br />

• Amendments to IAS 16 “Property, Plant and Equipment” - Proceeds before Intended Use (effective<br />

for annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2022),<br />

• Amendments to IAS 37 “Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets” - Onerous<br />

Contracts — Cost of Fulfilling a Contract (effective for annual periods beginning on or after January<br />

1, 2022).<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong> has elected not to adopt these new standards, amendments to existing standards and<br />

new interpretation in advance of their effective dates. The <strong>CEF</strong> anticipates that the adoption of<br />

these standards, amendments to existing standards and new interpretations will have no material<br />

impact on the financial statements of the <strong>CEF</strong> in the period of initial application.<br />


Intangible assets<br />

January 1,<br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

New<br />

investments Write-offs Amortization<br />

EUR<br />

December 31,<br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

Purchase value 57,816 0 0 0 57,816<br />

Accumulated amortization -14,347 0 0 -9,315 -23,662<br />

Carrying value 43,469 0 0 -9,315 34,154<br />

Intangible assets<br />

January 1,<br />

2019<br />

New<br />

investments Write-offs Amortization<br />

December 31,<br />

2019<br />

Purchase value 17,282 46,574 -6,040 0 57,816<br />

Accumulated amortization -17,276 0 6,040 -3,110 -14,347<br />

Carrying value 5 46,574 0 -3,110 43,469<br />

Intangible assets comprise computer software and textbooks for TIAPS program and are recorded at purchase value. A<br />

change in position results from investment and amortization. In <strong>2020</strong> <strong>CEF</strong> didn’t have investments in intangible assets.<br />


Equipment<br />

January 1,<br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

New<br />

investments Write-offs Amortization<br />

EUR<br />

December 31,<br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

Purchase value 1,136,931 175,695 0 0 1,312,627<br />

Accumulated depreciation -589,446 0 0 -60,532 -649,977<br />

Carrying value 547,486 175,695 0 -60,532 662,649<br />

Equipment<br />

January 1,<br />

2019<br />

New<br />

investments Write-offs Amortization<br />

December 31,<br />

2019<br />

Purchase value 1,068,826 129,730 -61,625 0 1,136,931<br />

Accumulated depreciation -591,486 0 61,533 -59,493 -589,446<br />

Carrying value 477,340 129,730 -92 -59,493 547,486<br />

Equipment owned by the <strong>CEF</strong> is used to carry out the <strong>CEF</strong>’s activities and comprises office, computer and other<br />

equipment, as well as investments and improvements in the business premises. A change in the position results<br />

from purchases, write-offs and accumulated depreciation. Write-offs relate to the equipment that is no longer in use.

78 <strong>CEF</strong> FINANCIAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


New investments in <strong>2020</strong> comprise electronic equipment (computers, printers, projectors), renovation of lobby, and<br />

some offices on the ground floor and in the 4th floor. The <strong>CEF</strong>’s equipment is not pledged. Liabilities for purchase of<br />

equipment as of December 31, <strong>2020</strong> amount to EUR 6,405 and in amount to EUR 4,321 as of December 31, 2019.<br />


EUR<br />

Cash and cash equivalents December 31, <strong>2020</strong> December 31, 2019<br />


Trade receivables December 31, <strong>2020</strong> December 31, 2019<br />

Banka Slovenije 0 1,368<br />

IMF 38,766 53,665<br />

Other receivables 36,742 37,988<br />

Total 75,508 93,020<br />

Trade receivables comprise claims from projects and other receivables from original documents and without any<br />

valuation adjustment.<br />

Trade receivables are non-interest bearing. The method of impairment did not change in <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

Trade receivables change from year to year depending on the life cycle of a project run by the <strong>CEF</strong>.<br />

Other receivables comprise VAT refunds and social security refunds.<br />

EUR<br />

Cash and deposits in EUR 2,279,963 1,849,283<br />

Cash and deposits in USD 1,862 168<br />

Cash in hand 324 356<br />

Total 2,282,149 1,849,806<br />

Cash and cash equivalents comprise short-term deposits in EUR and USD with UniCredit Bank, Ljubljana.<br />


EUR<br />

Prepayments and other assets January 1, <strong>2020</strong> Disbursement Increases December 31, <strong>2020</strong><br />

Accrued revenue (not yet invoiced) 93,078 -93,078 0 0<br />

Advance payments 4,339 -4,339 23,124 23,124<br />

Deferred costs 21,696 -1,356 4,079 24,419<br />

Total 119,113 -98,773 27,203 47,543<br />

Age structure and changes in impairments of receivables<br />

EUR<br />

December 31, <strong>2020</strong> December 31, 2019<br />

Aging of receivables Gross amount Impairments Gross amount Impairments<br />

Not past due 75,508 0 93,020 0<br />

Past due up to 90 days 0 0 0 0<br />

Past due from 91 to 180 days 0 0 0 0<br />

Past due from 181 to 365 days 0 0 0 0<br />

Prepayments and other assets January 1, 2019 Disbursement Increases December 31, 2019<br />

Accrued revenue (not yet invoiced) 7,876 -7,876 93,079 93,078<br />

Advance payments 360 -360 4,339 4,339<br />

Deferred costs 66,667 -44,971 0 21,696<br />

Total 74,902 -53,207 97,417 119,113<br />

Short-term deferred costs and accrued revenue comprise accrued income and costs that were paid in <strong>2020</strong> and will<br />

occur in 2021, such as insurance premiums.<br />

More than one year 0 0 0 0<br />

Total 75,508 0 93,020 0

80 <strong>CEF</strong> FINANCIAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


NOTE 6: EQUITY<br />

Equity (Founder’s funds) December 31, <strong>2020</strong> December 31, 2019<br />

Share capital (Founder's funds) 4,173 4,173<br />

Capital surplus 225 225<br />

Fair value reserves -38,491 -22,570<br />

General reserves 1,444,042 1,318,967<br />

Total 1,409,949 1,300,795<br />

Share capital represents start-up contribution in the amount of EUR 4,173 and capital surplus.<br />

The surplus generated in <strong>2020</strong> was allocated to the general reserve fund (as envisaged in the internal rules of the <strong>CEF</strong>).<br />

Fair value reserves from actuarial calculations of severance pay were negative in the amount of EUR 38,491 at the<br />

end of <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

EUR<br />


Long-term accrued costs<br />

and deferred revenue<br />

January<br />

1, <strong>2020</strong><br />

New<br />

investments<br />

Write<br />

offs<br />

Amortization<br />

and<br />

depreciation<br />

EUR<br />

December<br />

31, <strong>2020</strong><br />

Fund to finance amortization and depreciation 591,046 175,695 0 -69,846 696,895<br />

Carrying value 696,895<br />

Long-term accrued costs<br />

and deferred revenue<br />

January<br />

1, 2019<br />

New<br />

investments<br />

Write<br />

offs<br />

Amortization<br />

and<br />

depreciation<br />

EUR<br />

December<br />

31, 2019<br />

Fund to finance amortization and depreciation 477,345 176,304 0 -62,603 591,046<br />

Carrying value 591,046<br />

Government grants are covering the depreciation and amortization of long-term assets.<br />


Provisions January 1, <strong>2020</strong> Disbursement Increase December 31, <strong>2020</strong><br />

Reserves for severance pay 157,808 0 35,092 192,900<br />

Other provisions 36,377 0 0 36,377<br />

Total 194,185 0 35,092 229,277<br />

Provisions January 1, 2019 Disbursement Increase December 31, 2019<br />

Reserves for severance pay 109,693 -9,003 57,118 157,808<br />

Other provisions 30,000 -38,623 45,000 36,377<br />

Total 139,693 -47,626 102,118 194,185<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong> created provisions for severance payments and long-service bonuses based on the current value of its liabilities<br />

to employees (see also Note 16).<br />

The reserves for textbooks were created as <strong>CEF</strong> received some funds that were specifically dedicated to prepare<br />

textbooks for TIAPS program. Textbooks for Level 1 were finalized in 2019 (see also Note 1). Textbooks for Level 2 are<br />

being prepared to be put in use in the future. The <strong>CEF</strong> will need to keep these textbooks updated, so funds will be<br />

reserved for this also in the future.<br />

EUR<br />

EUR<br />


Operating liabilities December 31, <strong>2020</strong> December 31, 2019<br />

Trade payables to suppliers in Slovenia 15,435 51,337<br />

Trade payables to suppliers outside Slovenia 1,412 13,153<br />

Liabilities to employees 125,661 121,588<br />

Other short-term liabilities 4,223 26,960<br />

Total 146,732 213,038<br />

Operating liabilities comprise accounts payable (short-term trade payables to suppliers of goods and services, including<br />

maintenance services), liabilities to employees (December salary), and other short-term liabilities (other taxes and<br />

lecturers’ fees).<br />


Advances payable and<br />

other current liabilities January 1, <strong>2020</strong> Disbursement Increases December 31, <strong>2020</strong><br />

Deferred revenues for projects 302,731 -302,731 385,241 385,241<br />

Other accrued costs 51,098 -51,098 233,910 233,910<br />

Total 353,829 -353,829 619,151 619,151<br />

EUR<br />


82 <strong>CEF</strong> FINANCIAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


Advances payable and<br />

other current liabilities January 1, 2019 Disbursement Increases December 31, 2019<br />

Deferred revenues for projects 1,254,560 -1,265,494 313,665 302,731<br />

Other accrued costs 60,382 -60,382 51,098 51,098<br />

Total 1,314,942 -1,325,876 364,763 353,829<br />

Contract liabilities represent revenues received in <strong>2020</strong> for costs that will occur in 2021; EUR 385,241 for the FISR<br />

project, financed by EU.<br />

Other accrued costs relate to auditing services, cost of renovation of premises and costs of unused annual leave days<br />

that were allocated to the staff for the year <strong>2020</strong> and are to be used by August 31, 2021.<br />


Revenue from program in <strong>2020</strong> Project Invoiced<br />

From/To<br />

accrued<br />

revenue<br />

From/To<br />

deferred<br />

revenue<br />

EUR<br />

Net<br />

amount<br />

Ministry of Finance, Slovenia Program <strong>2020</strong> 1,000,000 0 0 1,000,000<br />

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia PACT N. Macedonia 199,910 0 0 199,910<br />

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia TIAPS Montenegro 48,277 0 0 48,277<br />

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia PACT Montenegro 34,744 0 0 34,744<br />

Ministry of Finance, the Netherlands<br />

Ministry of Finance, Slovakia<br />

Tax Administration,<br />

PIFC<br />

PACT Montenegro,<br />

FISR Moldova<br />

103,182 0 0 103,182<br />

130,110 0 0 130,110<br />

Banka Slovenije CB workshops (MFE*) 213,450 0 0 213,450<br />

EU FISR 566,811 0 0 566,811<br />

GIZ TIAPS Georgia 72,293 0 0 72,293<br />

IMF Workshops 42,464 0 0 42,464<br />

World Bank Workshops 32,724 0 0 32,724<br />

Total 2,443,965 0 0 2,443,965<br />

To provisions to finance<br />

amortization and depreciation<br />

From provisions to finance<br />

amortization and depreciation<br />

0 0 -175,695 -175,695<br />

0 69,846 0 69,846<br />

Total 2,443,965 69,846 -175,695 2,338,116<br />

Transfer to reserves 0 0 -125,075 -125,075<br />

*Macroeconomic and Financial Environment<br />

Revenue from program in 2019 Project Invoiced<br />

From/To<br />

accrued<br />

revenue<br />

From/To<br />

deferred<br />

revenue<br />

EUR<br />

Net<br />

amount<br />

Ministry of Finance, Slovenia Program 2019 1,000,000 0 0 1,000,000<br />

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia TIAPS Montenegro 46,959 0 0 46,959<br />

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia PACT Montenegro 84,024 13,622 0 97,645<br />

GIZ TIAPS Georgia 122,785 0 0 122,785<br />

EU FISR 764,243 0 0 764,243<br />

Ministry of Finance, Slovakia PACT Montenegro 153,549 0 0 153,549<br />

Ministry of Finance, the Netherlands Tax Administration, PIFC 179,457 0 0 179,457<br />

Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs,<br />

Germany<br />

TIAPS Montenegro 0 38,674 0 38,674<br />

Banka Slovenije CB workshops (MFE*) 255,310 0 0 255,310<br />

IMF Workshops 139,840 40,783 0 180,622<br />

Other Small events 18,518 0 0 18,518<br />

Total 2,764,684 93,079 0 2,857,762<br />

To provisions to finance<br />

amortization and depreciation<br />

From provisions to finance<br />

amortization and depreciation<br />

0 0 -221,304 -221,304<br />

0 0 101,226 101,226<br />

Total 2,764,684 93,079 -120,078 2,737,684<br />

Transfer to reserves 0 0 -128,794 -128,794<br />

*Macroeconomic and Financial Environment<br />

In addition, the Government of Slovenia contributed to the <strong>CEF</strong> by granting free of charge premises. This is an in-kind<br />

contribution that was not recorded in the <strong>CEF</strong> books, estimated at EUR 12 per square meter (in total EUR 182,184 +<br />

VAT EUR 40,081 = EUR 222,265).<br />

NOTE 12: Financial income represents interest on deposits and exchange rate changes.<br />


Costs of materials <strong>2020</strong> 2019<br />

Costs of energy 33,765 36,673<br />

Materials and spare parts 15,909 10,656<br />

Office supplies 2,359 15,244<br />

Other costs of materials 5,924 22,796<br />

Total 57,957 85,369<br />

EUR<br />

Costs of materials and spare parts comprise spare parts for equipment and materials for renovating and maintaining<br />

the <strong>CEF</strong> premises.

84 <strong>CEF</strong> FINANCIAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />



Costs of services <strong>2020</strong> 2019<br />

Production services costs 139,049 119,438<br />

Transport services costs for events 39,029 266,880<br />

Rents 26,531 23,047<br />

Costs of employees’ business travels 5,744 53,782<br />

Payments, bank services, insurance costs 10,467 11,269<br />

Intellectual services costs for events 188,033 152,103<br />

Intellectual services costs 20,668 17,746<br />

Costs of exhibition, advertising 2,918 6,313<br />

Personal services costs for events (authors, translators, mentors) 117,814 168,302<br />

Costs of other services for events 86,501 316,281<br />

Total 636,754 1,135,161<br />

Intellectual services for events records fees for experts, authors, translators and mentors who work from their companies<br />

and issue invoices to the <strong>CEF</strong>; and personal services for events records fees for experts, authors, translators<br />

and mentors who are paid by contract. The <strong>CEF</strong> records transport services for events (e.g. travel for participants) only<br />

when sponsored by a donor. Other services for events comprise copying materials, rent of interpretation equipment<br />

and classrooms when workshops are organized outside the <strong>CEF</strong>, as well as refreshments and lunches for participants.<br />

Intellectual services are costs of experts that support the <strong>CEF</strong> with services, such as communication, legal advice<br />

and training.<br />

Due to COVID-19, after March 13, <strong>2020</strong> there were no face-to-face events and no traveling. This resulted in lower<br />

costs of events.<br />


Labor costs <strong>2020</strong> 2019<br />

Employee salaries 1,090,379 955,037<br />

Employee salaries compensation 10,374 17,007<br />

Reimbursement and other employee benefits 159,037 156,402<br />

Employer's salaries contributions, taxes 161,774 145,269<br />

Other labor costs 16,936 31,848<br />

Total 1,438,499 1,305,563<br />

EUR<br />

EUR<br />

In <strong>2020</strong>, the <strong>CEF</strong> calculated costs of annual leave days that were unused in <strong>2020</strong> and are to be used by the end of<br />

August, 2021.<br />

Other labor costs comprise provisions for severance payments and long-service bonuses.<br />

The earnings of members of the Executive Management and Governing Board<br />

Data regarding groups of persons<br />

EUR<br />

Employees under individual employment contract<br />

December 31, <strong>2020</strong> December 31, 2019<br />

Salaries 68,442 71,000<br />

Reimbursements and other employee benefits 2,127 2,217<br />

Total 70,569 73,217<br />

Members of the Governing Board are not compensated.<br />

Number of employees by formal education level<br />

Number of employees by formal education level (EQF) December 31, <strong>2020</strong> December 31, 2019<br />

Level 4 2 2<br />

Level 5 3 3<br />

Level 6 6 6<br />

Level 7 18 17<br />

Level 8 4 4<br />

Total 33 32<br />


Amortization and depreciation <strong>2020</strong> 2019<br />

Amortization of intangible assets 9,315 3,110<br />

Depreciation of equipment 42,043 41,388<br />

Depreciation of other fixed assets 18,489 18,105<br />

Total 69,846 62,603<br />

EUR<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong> calculates salaries and other labor-related costs (meal and travel allowance, supplement health and pension<br />

insurance, travel insurance) according to the <strong>CEF</strong> Rules of Employment, Annex I. On December 31, <strong>2020</strong>, the <strong>CEF</strong> had<br />

33 employees and 32 employees on December 31, 2019. In <strong>2020</strong>, there were four international employees, who do<br />

not pay social security and personal income taxes in Slovenia.

86 <strong>CEF</strong> FINANCIAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />



EUR<br />

Other operating expenses <strong>2020</strong> 2019<br />

Contributions not related to labor costs 1,510 6,328<br />

Students’ work 9,343 10,709<br />

Other costs 2,366 640<br />

Total 13,219 17,677<br />

NOTE 18: Financial expenses record negative exchange rate changes.<br />

NOTE 19: Other expenses represent differences from rounded amounts paid in cash.<br />

4. Determination of fair value<br />

and risk management<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong> is exposed to the following risks: strategic, reputational, operational and financial.<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong>’s prudent approach to risk management helps the <strong>CEF</strong> maintain its high level of operational<br />

quality and is crucial for achieving its business goals. The use of standard methodologies<br />

and risk management procedures enables quality risk assessment, timely responses, and minimum<br />

exposure of the <strong>CEF</strong> to major risks, as stated above.<br />

Strategic risks may arise from the pursuit of an unsuccessful business plan, poor business decisions,<br />

substandard execution of decisions, inadequate resource allocation, and/or from a failure<br />

to respond well to changes in the business environment. The <strong>CEF</strong> manages these risks by close<br />

cooperation and under supervision by the Governing Board and other stakeholders.<br />

Reputational risks may result in damages to the <strong>CEF</strong>’s reputation, which may manifest either in<br />

lost revenues or increased costs and in destruction of stakeholders’ value and trust. To minimize<br />

these risks, the <strong>CEF</strong> invests in building its ethics, security, sustainability, quality and innovation to<br />

remain capable of answering to stakeholders’ needs.<br />

Operational risks are imputed in <strong>CEF</strong> business activities through inadequate or failed internal<br />

processes, people and systems, as well as from some external events. The <strong>CEF</strong> manages these<br />

risks by strict implementation of internal procedures that include, but are not limited to, strict implementation<br />

of the principle of four eyes, introduction of the internal audit function, and training<br />

managers to improve their control functions.<br />

Financial risks are associated with financing, including budgeting, managing expenses within<br />

budgets, and overspending in case a project cannot be successfully completed without additional<br />

expenses. The <strong>CEF</strong> manages these risks by budgeting for all expenses that might occur within the<br />

project, and building sufficient reserves to cover potential loss from the project.<br />


EUR<br />

Credit risk Note December 31, <strong>2020</strong> December 31, 2019<br />

Cash and cash equivalents 4 2,282,149 1,849,806<br />

Trade receivables 3 75,508 93,020<br />

Total 2,357,657 1,942,827

88 <strong>CEF</strong> FINANCIAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />



Exposure to changes in exchange rates is presented in the table below.<br />

EUR<br />

Currency risk December 31, <strong>2020</strong> EUR USD CHF RSD<br />

Cash and cash equivalents 2,282,149 2,280,967 1,182 0 0<br />

Trade receivables 75,508 75,508 0 0 0<br />

Operating liabilities 146,732 145,320 0 1,412 0<br />

Total 2,504,389 2,501,795 1,182 1,412 0<br />

Currency risk December 31, 2019 EUR USD CHF GBP<br />

Cash and cash equivalents 1,849,806 1,848,831 975 0 0<br />

Trade receivables 93,020 93,020 0 0 0<br />

Operating liabilities 213,038 207,444 0 921 171<br />

Total 2,155,865 2,149,296 975 921 171<br />

EUR<br />

Financial liabilities<br />

Fair value is calculated for <strong>report</strong>ing purposes based on the present value of future principal and interest payments,<br />

discounted using a market interest rate at the end of the <strong>report</strong>ing period.<br />

Trade and other receivables<br />

The fair value of operating and other receivables is calculated for <strong>report</strong>ing purposes based on the present value of<br />

future principal and interest, discounted according to a market interest rate at the <strong>report</strong>ing date.<br />

Financial instruments are categorized to three levels with respect to the calculation of their fair value:<br />

Level 1 – assets and liabilities at market price (the use of published prices arising on an active market for the same<br />

assets or liabilities)<br />

Level 2 – assets and liabilities not classified as Level 1 but whose value is determined directly or indirectly on the<br />

basis of market observables<br />

Level 3 – assets and liabilities whose value cannot be determined on the basis of market observables and thus cannot<br />

be classified to Level 1 or Level 2.<br />

The fair value of current assets and liabilities is equal to their carrying amount.<br />

Change in exchange rate would not have significantly effect on the financial statements.<br />



Exposure to interest-rate risk, i.e. the risk of changes in interest rates on deposits, is low. By planning investment activities,<br />

current operations and deposits, the <strong>CEF</strong>’s cash flows are coordinated and do not require borrowings.<br />

Interest-rate risk December 31, <strong>2020</strong> December 31, 2019<br />

Financial instruments at fixed interest rates<br />

Financial assets (deposits) 2,261,450 1,848,308<br />

Financial liabilities 0 0<br />

Financial instruments at fixed interest rates<br />

Financial assets 0 0<br />

Financial liabilities 0 0<br />

Total 2,261,450 1,848,308<br />

Determination of fair value<br />

Given the <strong>CEF</strong>’s accounting policies and classification approach, the determination of the fair value of both financial<br />

and non-financial assets and liabilities is necessary.<br />

The fair values of individual groups of assets were determined for measurement and/or <strong>report</strong>ing purposes based on<br />

the method described below.<br />

Non-current financial assets<br />

The fair value of non-current financial assets is determined on the closing market price as at the <strong>report</strong>ing date.<br />

EUR<br />

Fair value<br />

Carrying<br />

amount<br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

Fair value<br />

Carrying<br />

amount<br />

EUR<br />

2019<br />

Fair value<br />

Trade receivables 75,508 75,508 93,020 93,020<br />

Cash and cash equivalents 2,282,149 2,282,149 1,849,806 1,849,806<br />

Prepayments and other assets 47,543 47,543 119,113 119,113<br />

Trade payables 16,847 16,847 64,490 64,490<br />

Other short-term payables 4,223 4,223 26,960 26,960<br />

Advances payable and other current liabilities 619,151 619,151 353,830 353,829<br />

Total 3,742,225 3,742,225 3,098,174 3,098,174<br />


Fair value of assets Level 1 Level 2<br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

Level 3 Level 1 Level 2<br />

EUR<br />

2019<br />

Level 3<br />

Trade receivables 0 0 75,508 0 0 93,020<br />

Cash and cash equivalents 2,282,149 0 0 1,849,806 0 0<br />

Prepayments and other assets 0 0 47,543 0 0 119,113<br />

Total 2,282,149 0 819,855 1,849,806 0 803,088

90<br />

<strong>CEF</strong> FINANCIAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />



Fair value of liabilities Level 1 Level 2<br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

Level 3 Level 1 Level 2<br />

EUR<br />

2019<br />

Level 3<br />

Trade payables 16,847 0 0 64,490 0 0<br />

Other short-term payables 4,223 0 0 26,960 0 0<br />

Advances payable and other<br />

current liabilities<br />

619,151 0 0 353,829 0 0<br />

Total 640,221 0 0 445,279 0 0<br />

5. Related party transactions<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong> does not have related parties.<br />

The earnings of members of the Executive Management and Governing Board are presented in Note 15: Labor costs.<br />

6. Events after the statement of financial<br />

position date<br />

There were no events after the balance sheet date that would have a material effect on the financial statements for<br />

the year <strong>2020</strong>.<br />

7. Certified auditor’s <strong>report</strong>

92<br />

<strong>CEF</strong> FINANCIAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />


94<br />

<strong>CEF</strong> FINANCIAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />

95<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong> hosts two IMF Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) regional advisors: Ms.<br />

Suzanne Flynn, covering public financial management (PFM), and Mr. Allan<br />

Jensen, covering revenue administration (RA). Together with two other IMF<br />

colleagues, Mr. Bojan Pogačar (PFM) and Mr. Dmitri Jegorov (RA) 1 who joined<br />

in <strong>2020</strong> and are both based at the Joint Vienna Institute, they facilitate the<br />

implementation of an IMF project to support capacity development in the<br />

areas of public financial management and revenue administration in SEE.<br />

The recipient countries are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro,<br />

North Macedonia, and Serbia.<br />

This project is delivered with financial support from the EU and the Swiss<br />

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). 2 A set of very clear delivery<br />

milestones are established for each country in terms of reform progress in<br />

the areas that are addressed by the project. The program’s delivery model<br />

involves IMF Headquarters’ (HQ) led missions to the beneficiary countries;<br />

regular visits by IMF Regional Advisors; capacity development support provided<br />

remotely; and a considerable number of visits by short-term IMF experts. 3<br />

The table below gives a broad overview of the program’s focus areas in <strong>2020</strong>,<br />

key activities and preliminary outcomes.<br />

Despite the Covid-19 travel restrictions, the capacity development program<br />

progressed through remote online missions, conducted successfully with the<br />

cooperation of the authorities of each country. In addition, short regional webinars<br />

were organized to disseminate good practice in light of the pandemic<br />

and enable countries to share their respective experiences. The annual steering<br />

committee was held online in collaboration with the <strong>CEF</strong> in May <strong>2020</strong>.<br />


IMF Advisors’ Report<br />

The IMF advisors cooperate closely with the <strong>CEF</strong> on training needs assessments<br />

in the areas of public financial management and revenue administration<br />

in SEE countries, and the design and delivery of training and other input<br />

to some of the <strong>CEF</strong>’s learning activities. Coordination meetings are held with<br />

the <strong>CEF</strong> staff on a quarterly basis, involving HQ based IMF staff.<br />

1 The two IMF advisors that are not based at the <strong>CEF</strong> are hosted by the Joint Vienna Institute in<br />

Vienna; however, due to the Covid-19 situation they are currently delivering remote capacity<br />

development support from their home countries.<br />

2 In <strong>2020</strong>, SECO provided financial support to revenue administration only; however, from January<br />

2021 public financial management is also supported.<br />

3 Most of the capacity development activities were delivered remotely, using web-based<br />

communication tools and e-mails.

96 <strong>CEF</strong> ANNUAL REPORT <strong>2020</strong><br />

APPENDIX 97<br />



Focus Areas Activities * Examples of Outcomes<br />

Stronger PFM laws and<br />

institutions, including<br />

PFM reform strategies.<br />

Strengthening of budget<br />

execution and controls.<br />

Improving appraisal,<br />

selection and<br />

implementation of<br />

public investments.<br />

Strengthening and<br />

better integration<br />

of cash and debt<br />

management.<br />

Strengthening fiscal<br />

risk management,<br />

particularly in light of<br />

the Covid-19 pandemic.<br />

HQ missions (7)<br />

HQ staff visit (1)<br />

Regional advisor visits (5)<br />

Short-term experts (8)<br />

Regional on-line webinars (4)<br />

Ongoing remote support<br />

from two Regional Advisors<br />

and HQ staff.<br />

The Covid-19 situation has impacted on reforms and<br />

day-to-day operations across all ministries of finance<br />

in the region. Despite this, they were able to achieve<br />

reform results, some of which are highlighted below.<br />

• New PFM reform strategies (2021–2025) have<br />

been developed by the state institutions, the<br />

Federation, Republika Srpska, Brčko District and<br />

state level in Bosnia and Herzegovina.<br />

• All countries are in process of developing new PFM<br />

strategies and most have continued to hold PFM<br />

dialogues remotely.<br />

• Five countries in the region had completed Public<br />

Investment Management Assessments by the<br />

end of <strong>2020</strong> and have started to implement the<br />

recommendations.<br />

• Albania is actively working to reduce the risk<br />

and management of arrears through its Arrears<br />

Working Group.<br />

• Serbia and Albania have set up and staffed<br />

dedicated public investment management<br />

units and are developing capacity to enhance<br />

investment outcomes.<br />

• Other countries in the region have improved or are<br />

improving their legal and regulatory frameworks for<br />

public investment management (Albania, Kosovo,<br />

Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia).<br />

• Countries in the region are incrementally improving<br />

the disclosure of fiscal risks in fiscal strategy<br />

documents and budget documents.<br />

• Fiscal Risk Units have been institutionalized<br />

in Albania and Serbia and capacity is further<br />

enhanced in Kosovo.<br />

• Models and data flows to the ministries of finance<br />

or economy are improving to enable the monitoring<br />

of fiscal risks emanating from public corporations<br />

across the region (e.g., Albania, Bosnia and<br />

Herzegovina, Kosovo and Serbia).<br />

• In the time of the Covid-19 crisis, countries in<br />

the region have tools to enable them to assess<br />

potential budgetary impact of standardized<br />

credit guarantee schemes (e.g., Albania, North<br />

Macedonia, Serbia).<br />

4 Some IMF tax administration activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina were financed by the government of the Netherlands and are not included in<br />

this table.<br />

* Due to the Covid-19 situation, most of the activities were delivered remotely, using web-based communication tools (e.g., WebEx and Zoom).<br />


Focus Areas Activities * Examples of Outcomes<br />

Improving<br />

governance,<br />

organization<br />

structures and<br />

human resource<br />

management.<br />

Developing mediumterm<br />

revenue<br />

strategies.<br />

Implementing<br />

modern compliance<br />

risk management<br />

methodology,<br />

including industrybased<br />

compliance<br />

strategies.<br />

Strengthening tax<br />

audit.<br />

Consolidating core<br />

tax functions in fewer<br />

offices.<br />

Strengthening tax<br />

debt collection.<br />

Strengthening<br />

compliance<br />

efforts for large<br />

corporations.<br />

Improving IT systems.<br />

HQ missions (5)<br />

Short-term<br />

experts (28)<br />

Regional<br />

workshops (2)<br />

Substantial<br />

ongoing remote<br />

support from two<br />

regional advisors<br />

The Covid-19 situation has impacted significantly on reforms and day-to-day<br />

operations across all tax administrations in the region. Despite this, they<br />

were able to achieve reform results, some of which are listed below.<br />

• Most tax administrations in the region have played a key role<br />

in implementing various Covid-19 related government financed<br />

assistance packages to businesses and citizens.<br />

• Multiyear reform programs are in place in all tax administrations, and<br />

governance and management approaches are also gradually being<br />

modernized: e.g., during <strong>2020</strong>, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia<br />

developed new modernization programs. A major component of the<br />

reform in Serbia includes acquiring a COTS solution for IT systems’<br />

overhaul and business process reengineering.<br />

• Major IT development projects are being implemented in several<br />

countries. In Albania and Montenegro, this includes putting in<br />

place systems for electronic <strong>report</strong>ing of invoice data to the tax<br />

administrations. In Kosovo, Montenegro, and North Macedonia efforts<br />

are underway to replace the current tax administration systems.<br />

• Some tax administrations have consolidated their tax debt collection<br />

functions in fewer offices (e.g., Albania: Three Collection Centers and<br />

the Large Taxpayer Office, and Kosovo: one Collection Center). Kosovo<br />

has also consolidated the VAT refund function into one office.<br />

• Modern compliance risk management (CRM) methodology continues<br />

to be phased in across all tax administrations in the region. In addition<br />

to industry projects, some tax administrations are also focusing on<br />

major risk clusters related to certain tax types (e.g., Albania and Serbia<br />

– personal income tax for high-wealth individuals). In Bosnia and<br />

Herzegovina, the Indirect Taxation Authority’s (ITA) CRM system now also<br />

covers customs and an improvement to the CRM governance model.<br />

• Some tax administrations have commenced investing in the<br />

development of capacity in data analytics to enable better<br />

identification of major compliance risk clusters (Albania and Serbia).<br />

• The Albanian tax administration has implemented the automatic<br />

exchange system (OECD standards) for financial account information<br />

to/from 72 foreign jurisdictions.<br />

• In Bosnia and Herzegovina, an IT system solution has been developed<br />

and put in place for collecting invoice data for CRM purposes and<br />

to improve the VAT revenue sharing mechanism, which depends on<br />

accurate registration of the final consumption of goods and services.<br />

• The Albanian Central Tax Administration Office has come far in<br />

implementing a fiscalization system (real-time monitoring) of<br />

mandatory electronic invoices.<br />

• The tax audit and debt collection functions are gradually improving<br />

across most administrations. In Bosnian-Herzegovinian ITA, new audit<br />

manuals and a quality assurance system were put in place.<br />

• The use of key performance indicators as a management tool to<br />

achieve higher organizational performance in key areas has begun<br />

to take roots in some administrations (e.g., Albania, Kosovo, North<br />

Macedonia, Montenegro).<br />

* Due to the Covid-19 situation, most of the activities were delivered remotely, using web-based communication tools (e.g., WebEx and Zoom).


<strong>CEF</strong> ANNUAL REPORT<br />





FOR 2019<br />




Published by: Center of Excellence in Finance<br />

Production editor: Urška Miklič<br />

Text editor: Kadri Põdra<br />

Design: Sonja Eržen<br />

Photographs: <strong>CEF</strong> Archive, Miha Fras & Urška Rahne<br />

Illustrations: Sonja Eržen, Iztok Ambrož, Alenka Oblak & Ana Frangež Kerševan<br />

Printing: Tiskarna Januš<br />

May 2021<br />

The boundaries, color, denominations and any other information shown on maps in<br />

this <strong>Annual</strong> Report do not imply any judgment on the legal status of any territory, or any<br />

endorsement or the acceptance of such boundaries.

About us<br />

<strong>CEF</strong> is international organization with the mission to support<br />

capacity development for finance officials in SEE through<br />

learning. We work with our constituency to support their<br />

public financial management, tax policy and administration,<br />

and central banking reform efforts. We do this through<br />

innovative, participatory, and practical learning solutions.<br />

The <strong>CEF</strong> serves as a knowledge hub for the region. We<br />

combine topical expertise and in-depth knowledge of<br />

countries in the region with a good comprehension of how<br />

reforms take place. We know how to nourish and expedite<br />

learning among individuals and institutions.<br />

Center of Excellence in Finance (<strong>CEF</strong>)<br />

Cankarjeva 18<br />

SI-1000 Ljubljana<br />

Slovenia<br />

T.: +386 1 369 6190<br />

info@cef-see.org<br />

www.cef-see.org<br />

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