Public Internal Financial Control is an important EU integration requirement

Public Internal Financial Control (PIFC) means that taxpayers know how their money is actually being spent and can judge whether managers and staff at public institutions are spending this money wisely, Maria Farrar-Hockley, Head of the Operations Section for Justice and Home Affairs and Public Administration Reform at the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, said in Sarajevo.

Farrar-Hockley was speaking at a conference organised by the BiH Treasury Ministry together with the Technical Assistance Project to support implementation of Public Internal Financial Control, funded by the EU. Thursday’s conference session followed a similar session the day before, for state-level officials.

„We are here today to raise awareness about the importance of Public Internal Financial Control among senior managers in various institutions in the Federation,” Farrar-Hockley explained, adding that the PIFC concept has been developed by the European Commission and covers Internal Audit and Internal Public Finance Control.

She noted that PIFC is an important EU integration requirement, since it will allow Bosnia and Herzegovina to manage incoming funds later in the accession process.

FBiH Finance Minister Ante Krajina told conference participants that the object is to ensure that institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina are able to control the use of public funds.

„For those of us working in executive government this project is unusual since we usually work on the basis of putting out fires and providing emergency service,“ said Krajina. He stressed that the project is based on looking ahead and that it envisages continuity of realisation at all levels, from the state to the municipalities.

Assistant Federation Finance Minister Fatima Drinčić, who is responsible for the Central Harmonization Unit, noted that the PIFC Project covers Financial Internal Control, Units for Internal Revision and the Central Harmonization Unit.

She said budget beneficiaries must meet three criteria in order to have Internal Revision. The first is to have more than 200 employees, the second is that approved budget funds surpass 10 million KM, and the third is that the transaction amount surpasses 15 million KM.