Cardno ID Assists in Implementing Best Practices in Municipal Budgeting
Since 1991, North Macedonia has been marching forward on the path towards a prosperous, self-reliant, and inclusive democratic society. Although, the past three decades have seen progress in establishing democratic institutions and transparent elections at all levels of government, challenges remain in local revenue generation and budget execution.
The Strengthening Resource Mobilization Activity is a five-year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Cardno International Development designed to increase municipalities’ own-source revenues and external funding and increase their budget execution rate in compliance with the central government’s budgeting and reporting requirements.
The project has just developed a user-friendly Guideline for Municipal Budget Planning. The Guideline includes instructions and good practices on the main steps of the municipal budgeting process: budget cycle and formulation practices, budget estimates and monitoring indicators, budget approval and supplementary or revised budgets, a system for control and monitoring of budget execution, expenditure and asset management, internal controls, accounting policy and procedures, and reporting.
To ensure that partner municipalities comply with domestic regulation, the Guideline also includes a new and improved version of the Budget Circular (including fiscal and gender indicators) which the municipalities are obliged to send to their budget users such as: local schools, kindergartens, local museums, cultural centers, etc. when requesting their financial plans for the next fiscal year. The Guideline for the Municipal Budget Planning was shared with all 16 partner municipalities including mayors and municipal administration for further usage. It is also publicly available in Macedonian on the following link: Guide for Budget Planning.
USAID’s Strengthening Resource Mobilization Activity has provided ongoing mentoring support and capacity-building workshops for finance officers from partner municipalities in North Macedonia. As a result, the financial officers have improved capacity for budget planning using new practical tools provided by the project technical team, including:
- a 7-step guide with examples for practical use to improve municipal level budgeting
- a mapping tool to track key challenges in the budgeting process; and
- a budget monitoring tool.
The project has also provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Finance of North Macedonia on drafting the amendment to the Law on Financing of Local Self-Governments that will assure better financial discipline, debt management, transparency, and accountability. USAID’s Strengthening Resource Mobilization Activity hosted the first Annual Mayor’s Forum bringing together mayors from the first cohort of partner municipalities and representatives of the municipal administration.