The program was executed by NL Agency/CROSS of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation and was organized by the Dutch Ministry of Finance in the period 30 January – 10 February 2012. The timing of organizing a course during the winter certainly lived up to the expectations because it was really winter and the expectations of the participants were met or surpassed. All lecturers were peers working in the field in the Dutch government. Besides sharing knowledge and practices from their own experiences, the Dutch peers were intrigued by the possibility of having an ice skating tour, the so called “Eleven cities tour”. The participant of the training experienced the freezing cold and especially the cold wind amongst others when they visited the Zaanse Schans and Amsterdam in the weekend. Beautiful photo’s and people catching a cold during these two weeks resulting.
After an informal welcome dinner at the Carlton Ambassador Hotel, the formal program started with images of the Dutch. The topic of Public Finance Management was illustrated based on the selection of several topics like Income TAX, V.A.T. Tax Collection, Wage Taxes and Horizontal Monitoring for the Tax Administration, budgetary policy and infrastructure, the role of Parliament, agencies and risk management for Public Expenditure Management. During a visit to the Tax Organization in Utrecht, the role of concern communication, Tax Phone and Social Media were explored. Also attention was given to skill training. Debating talent was spotted during a battle at the end of a day of practicing with debating and presentation techniques. The program was concluded with a Master class to better understand how to increase productivity and efficiency through multiplying the effective use of the brain.
A network was created between the participants; government officials from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine working in the field of Public Finance Management. Representatives of the Embassy of most countries, the participants and Dutch experts enjoyed a warm and friendly gathering with drinks during the second week. The Deputy Director of the Foreign Financial Relations Directorate, mr. Wim Janssen, expressed the gratitude towards the participants for choosing the Ministry of Finance of the Netherlands to learn more about Public Finance Management. With the help of Facebook and old fashioned email, the participants and the organization will stay in touch with each other and hope to meet again.
For the organization it was a pleasure and an honour to work with this wonderful group of different people. Looking forward to follow up on this training and having lots of inspiration and enthusiasm to organize a comparable training in the summer. To conclude, a humble and sincere thanks to the participants for their contributions: thank you very much!