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Task Force on Fiscal Decentralization meeting in Sofia, 15-16 November 2007

The second meeting of the Task Force on Fiscal Decentralisation took place in Sofia on 15 and 16 November, 2007. It was hosted by the National Association of Bulgarian Municipalities (NAMRB). The purpose of the meeting was to decide about the presentation of the Task Force at the NALAS General Assembly on December 13 and 14, to present current situation in the fields of budget negotiations and fiscal decentralization in the respective countries, as well as to agree on the next steps in the implementation of 2 projects developed by the Task Force: Budget Negotiations and Municipal Cost Estimation.

The meeting started with presentation of the TF members on the situation in fiscal decentralization and budget negotiations processes in the respective countries, experiences were exchanged and best practices discussed.

The following activities of both projects (Budget Negotiations and Municipal Cost Estimation) were identified, and the timeframes of the first stages of the projects, as well as of the TF meetings in 2008, were agreed upon. Other project ideas developed and initiated were also discussed, such as: property tax, local borrowing, municipal database, citizen participation in local budgeting process.

Special attention has been paid to analysis and approval of the questionnaire on budget negotiations developed by NAMRB in the framework of Budget Negotiations Project.

Finally, the concept of the TF FD workshop that will be held on Dec 13 has been discussed and approved.

Enclosed is detailed report with conclusions (1), draft agenda of the workshop (2), as well as the questionnaire on budget negotiations (3).