Iraqi Officials Learn Crucial Skills

Council of Representative members analyze reports submitted to the Ministry of Finance in the auditing module of the fiscal mana
Council of Representative members analyze reports submitted to the Ministry of Finance in the auditing module of the fiscal management course provided by USAID.
By comparing Iraq’s financial system with other nations, I feel better prepared to help chart my country’s future.” – Muna Zalzala, a member of Iraq’s Council of Representatives’ Finance Committee

Recognizing the need for improved governance, several members of Iraq’s Council of Representatives (COR) volunteered to take a comprehensive fiscal management course to prepare for the country’s new government, which was approved by Parliament in late 2010.

The class, presented by USAID’s Legislative Strenghtening Program, used international standards to teach lawmakeers good governance skills in four crucial areas: oversight, auditing, accounting, and budgeting.

Each module used texts and toolkits to present internationally recognized best practices so the concepts could be adapted for Iraq and be put into action.

The oversight section focused on inquiries and investigations, and used videos and other materials from actual legislative hearings in the United States and other countries.  These virtual visits enabled participants to witness, for the first time ever, the oversight process in action.

The auditing course presented approaches and principles used by the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions to review the performance of governments. 

The governmental accounting segment presented bookkeeping and reporting practices approved by the International Monetary Fund, United Nations and other organizations to show what reforms Iraq’s Ministry of Finance would be expected to make.

The budgeting course delved into budget formulation and execution, clarifying how it can be used to develop and improve opportunities for citizens.

The program’s participants, representing six COR committees, explored the roles, goals and opportunities for teams to work together on the budget and oversight processes.  Numerous issues were identified for debate by the new members of Parliament once its working groups are formed.

This Competent Fiscal Management Observer course laid the groundwork for future classes, including one that trained the COR’s Speaker’s Office in professional standards, management and media relations, and another for new Parliamentarians, roughly two-thirds of the COR.  

Last updated: August 21, 2013

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