Public financial management systems are at the core of good governance, and it is essential that parliaments discharge their legislative and oversight roles pro-actively and competently to ensure the sound and effective use of the public’s resources.
Turkey has taken decisive steps in reforming its public financial management systems over the last decade; and these reforms have contributed greatly to the sustained and inclusive growth that Turkey has enjoyed over the past decade.
To share this experience, on April 16-18, the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) and the World Bank hosted an International Public Financial Management Workshop in Ankara for representatives of Middle East and North African Countries National Assemblies as well as the Arab Parliament. The Workshop was well-attended by around 70 delegates from various Parliaments.
The two-day workshop started with the opening ceremony and the welcoming speeches of Florian Fichtl, World Bank Deputy Country Director for Turkey; Lütfi Elvan, Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Chairman of the Plan and Budget Committee; and Sadık Yakut, Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament.
The key note speech of Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek, provided a first-hand insight into the achievements and challenges Turkey has encountered in implementing public financial management reforms. Minister Şimşek summarized the key success of the reforms in Turkey with a paradigm shift in the Public Financial Management system, “Within the new paradigm, Turkey walked away from the old understanding of hierarchical, centrally-controlled, and rule-based administration towards a citizen-centered, transparent, performance-based, and accountable public financial management.”
The afternoon sessions of the workshop focused on Budget Formulation, Execution, Accounting and Reporting; Oversight Role of the Parliament in Budget Formulation, Execution and Analysis; and Supreme Audit and Parliamentary Oversight on Public Accounts. The participants also paid a visit to the Turkish Grand National Assembly for a dinner session hosted by the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament.
The second day of the workshop provided an excellent opportunity for all participating countries to share their experiences in the area of public financial management, particularly with respect to Parliamentary oversight; and was seen as the first step for a continuing partnership among participating countries.
The workshop served as a networking event between the countries and provided an excellent opportunity to make advancements in various areas of parliamentary work through the sharing of available resources and knowledge by strengthening regional inter-parliamentary cooperation at many levels, and by finding common ground for institutional developments.
Within the framework of “Bringing best global practices to Turkey, and sharing Turkish best practices and experiences with countries around the globe” as a key theme of the World Bank’s ongoing country partnership with Turkey, the Ankara office was pleased to have achieved this knowledge sharing experience.
As Florian Ficthl emphasized in his remarks, “Turkey’s development success and a number of its economic and social reforms, including the public financial management reform, have attracted international interest and recognition. Turkey is also increasingly interested in expanding and strengthening certain elements of its international development cooperation. Together, Turkey and the World Bank are exploring avenues to collaborate in sharing Turkey’s experiences abroad. Today’s event is the resulting fruit of this effort.”