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Our December 2013 newsletter highlights the publication of our annual assessments of EU candidate countries and potential candidates and of five new public procurement briefs. It also provides an overview of some of our current work with Albania, Egypt, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Moldova, and reports on our two recent multi-country events.

2013 assessments and priorities

Carried out in the spring of 2013, these assessments of the public governance of EU candidate countries and potential candidates are now available following publication of the European Commission’s Progress Reports into which they feed. These assessments should be read together with SIGMA proposals for priorities for further public administration reforms.

Five new public procurement briefs published

These five new briefs cover issues including the central public procurement functions, the role of review bodies, the monitoring of public procurement and common errors made in the process. SIGMA’s collection of public procurement briefs is of particular interest to those involved in purchasing goods and services for their government.

Building trust in government

The theme of this year’s European Neighbourhood Policy networking seminar was how governments can work on developing citizens’ trust in governments and public institutions. Participants from all of SIGMA’s 11 Neighbourhood partner countries met in Paris on 2-3 December to discuss issues around widening participation and inclusiveness in policy making and increasing transparency in the use of public money.

Improving working relations between parliaments and supreme audit institutions

The Network of Supreme Audit Institutions of EU candidate countries and potential candidates, SIGMA and the European Court of Auditors met for their annual conference on 18-19 November. The discussions this year focused on improving the working relations between parliaments and supreme audit institutions.

Government Debt Management and Operational Risk

The management of operational risk is at the heart of efficient government, but countries often fail to apply good or even routine operational risk management practices and have difficulty in understanding how to put the processes in place. Through an analysis of Turkey’s Undersecretariat of Treasury, SIGMA Paper 50 presents an overview of key operational risks and recommendations on how to develop a framework for managing them, and provides lessons learnt that can be applied in debt management units and related treasury functions across a wide range of countries.