Brussels, 12 June 2007
EU to assist the Palestinian Minister of Finance to build up its capacity
The European Commission and the Palestinian Ministry of Finance signed yesterday in Ramallah a Memorandum of Understanding to provide technical assistance to the Ministry in the form of training. This training will strengthen the capacity of the Palestinian Authority to manage its public finances in line with international standards.
With this €4 million assistance package, the EU will deliver training in both the Ramallah and Gaza offices of the Ministry of Finance through its implementing partner, the international firm Ernst & Young. The first trainings will start on 1 July in Ramallah and 8 July in Gaza and the programme will last until June 2009.
In the coming weeks the European Union will also start two other technical assistance programmes, one for the Palestinian Authority Customs Department and another one for the Tax Administration.
The European Union had been one of the largest providers of assistance to the Palestinian Ministry of Finance. Up until 2005 the European Union had already provided basic and advanced on-the-job coaching for the internal audit department, ad-hoc support to the internal auditors as well as the provision of general governance advice on the management of public sector finance audit and control. Over 90 staff received training and/or worked on practical assignments within the Ministry of Finance and other ministries, gaining a variety of skills including risk analysis, documentation, applying audit concepts and techniques, reporting and communication. During this period a new financial regulation was passed into law and separate departments for internal control and internal control were created.
However, it suspended its activities following the creation of the Hamas Government. With the establishment of the National Unity Government and the appointment of a Minister committed both to the Quartet principles and the development of sound public financial management, the European Commission has decided to assist the Ministry of Finance in building up its capacity to manage Palestinian public finances.