Eight years of the Academy on budget in local and regional government

Zagreb, November 17th – „To make a good budget means both to know the inhabitants needs of your municipality and determine priorities", said Vladimir Novak, Head of Šenkovec municipality for Međimurje county on the subject of strategic deliberation of budget creation, about which he spoke on the Academy's seminar in Zagreb titled „How to create an efficient budget in Public Local (Regional) Self-governance – long-term planning".

 

Continuing, Novak spoke about the good understanding of the municipality's financial state (which, he presumed, every municipality head knows), about the rule to order priorities based on financial possibilities, to order and round well the financial construction and to be ready, especially on tenders to be opened, which is very important, because passing on the tender means a liberation of the original budget and a possibility for a new project.

 

He explained introductorily budget definition, local budget basic characteristics and financing sources. In the second part of his lecture, he clarified the strategic deliberation of budget creation, in great detail in his municipality Šenkovec for 2011. where he stated that a very good understanding of the municipality's situation with special emphasis on finance, needs of associations, the young and socially endangered is mandatory. Using his municipality's example he explained the formation of this year's budget, what its priorities are, as well as the necessary steps to take in case of too many priorities.

„The structure of local budgets must follow the structure of state budgets, and in local and regional self-governance units an excellently ordered administrative department presents a great item", said the Head of Šenkovec municipality in conclusion of his lecture. Božidar Novoselec, Head of Sračinec municipality from Varaždin county, spoke on the subject of planning budget resources.

„The budget is developmental, but also political. Large projects in the municipality can be carried out with small financial resources and a long-term budget strategy is extremely important. You simply have to plan projects of exceptional value to the inhabitans, but you also have to know how to make them a reality. It is important to recognize where to make a smart investment in your municipality", started Novoselec.

In his exposition he commented on the Betterment road restoration programme through which municipality Sračinec reconstructed its piping grid, the approach to every household and renovated its sewer system, which led to positive critique from the inhabitants. Also, the role of Public-Private Partnership and investing and co-financing education is no less important. It was by these means that the satisfaction of interests of a large number of pupils in Varaždin county for certain fields and specialties, and school became the central place of all happenings. Also, the increase in the number of sport halls enabled the development of all indoor sports, which is extremely important for local communities. „Public-Private Partnership has enabled a uniform construction integration standard in the entire Varaždin county area, as well as Sračinec municipality", finished Novoselec, Head of Sračinec community serving his third term.

Nikola Kučiš, director of the Agency for the development of Varaždin county (AZRA), spoke on the topic of the inclusion of EU funds into local budgets. He began by introducing everyone present with AZRA's activities and drew a parallel between AZRA and EU funds. He continued by reflecting on EU resources available for 2013. He clarified the operative programme here in great detail, the amount of EU cofinancing, EU finance sources and acceptable investment fields. He also clarified the EU's strategic framework for the 2014.-2020. period.

He continued his lecture by explaining the foundations of planning budget resources for the carrying out of EU projects. He concluded his lecture on the example of AZRA and Varaždin county, where Varaždin county assures regional cofinancing. „It is important to plan the budget on a long-term (multi-year) basis in local communities as well as to know its financial capabilities. The resource sources for financing stake as well as the high level of human capacities must be defined. Every carrying out of a project has to be analitically monitored which is a result of responsibility, seriousness of approach and carrying out", concluded the AZRA director.

There was also a workshop held in the afternoon on the subject of strategic budget planning on a local level, moderated by AZRA's counselor for regional development Maja Lehman. Lehman used two municipality examples, and bid everyone present, using strategic planning steps, to set a budget vision in order to get a result of a concrete budget project in a local community through goals, priorities and measures.

The seminar was organised for the presidents and secretaries of CPP county organisations, as well as for Academy teachers, and it was graded excellent.

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