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  UNITAR / PFT Online Course on 'PUBLIC FUNDS AND THEIR AUDITING'

  Course Information
 
Introduction and Background

The training program offers an outlook on the role and functioning of financial control – in association with the management of public funds and the implementation of fiscal policy. The curriculum gives a comprehensive picture of the connection of public politics and the functioning of public finance, the audit of ensuring resources and of the realization of the expenditures – the financing of the central budget. The four subjects embrace the tasks, general function, the characteristics of the institutional system, the general transparency and accountability criteria and their respective guarantees concerning the financial operation; the tasks of the national and international organizations of financial control, its stabilizing role, the typical institutional models of state control, its institutions, the audit types carried out by them as well as the utilization of the experiences gained. Additionally it explains the role of financial audit in enhancing the security of global and regional cooperation as well as the institutionalized organizational solutions of the above. The work of financial management organizations and their control organs appears to be particularly topical in light of the current global financial and economic crisis.

     
Registration Status: OPEN
Deadline for Enrollment: when slots are full
Course Dates: April 11 to May 13, 2011
Estimated learning time: Minimum of 35 hours
Format: Online/Internet-based (asynchronous)
Language of Instruction: English
Fees: US $ 400/-
Helpline: UNITAR Geneva (Course Administration and Technical Questions)
      
  Course Objectives  
 


At the end of the course, the participants should be able to:

  • Define the role of the state and public politics in realizing the goals of fiscal policy and public funds management;
  • Name and explain the basic criteria of transparency and accountability of public funds;
  • Recognize “good governance” practices in managing the central budget;
  • Explain with precision the internal and external financial control mechanisms and management of public funds;
  • Manage the implementation of technical and methodological solutions and techniques of fiscal policy and control; and
  • Determine effective financial management and audit schemes that may minimize corruption of public funds and stabilize the role of global professional organizations in managing public funds.
  Target Audience  
 


Potential beneficiary audience/institutions include government officials, auditors of the governmental sector, financial experts, faculty, university/college students.
 

  Course Structure / Outline  
 


Course Structure

This online course will involve a mix of self-study and online interaction culminating in a practical understanding of public funds and their auditing through online group work. Throughout the duration of the course, participants will go through theoretical and conceptual material prepared by UNITAR and will have an opportunity to relate it to real-life situations through online discussions and peer-to-peer interaction. There will be a quiz/assignment at the end of the program.

Course Outline

This course will comprise of the following modules, each covering a one-week period.

Module 1: Principles of the functioning of public funds management
The economic role of the state and public politics; the most important substantive and direct goals of the fiscal policy and the related public funds and their management; the institutional system of public funds’ management and the basic criteria of transparency and accountability of the financial operation.

Module 2: The functioning of the public finance system
The financing of the public finance system, general solutions of the realization of revenues and realization of expenditures and their most important institutions; “good governance” in the financial management of the central budget; the built-into-the-process internal and external financial control of the financial management of the public finance system and the respective types of the control institutions.

Module 3: The implementation of fiscal policy and the control
Principles, types, most important technical and methodological solutions, techniques of the audits carried out in the field of public funds; typical tasks and implementation of regularity, performance audit; characteristics of utilizing the gained experiences and their respective, institutional solutions.

Module 4: The mission of financial audit in the global world of the 21st century burdened by crises
Possibilities of public finance management in mitigating the social-economic consequences of the financial-economic crisis and in fighting the related corruption phenomena; the most effective, comprehensive effects of the perfection of international cooperation in managing public funds, in the development of the institutional system, and the stabilizing role of global professional organization.

  Other Course-related Information
 
This course will be conducted over the internet using UNITAR's e-Learning infrastructure for a four week period. Participants will require a minimum of 60 minutes of study each day. The course pedagogy will allow for three levels of interaction. At the first level, the participants will interact with the training content and reading material provided. At the second level, the participants will interact with each other through the online discussion board facility, sharing experiences, opinions and views, thereby giving the learning a contextual framework. At the third level, the participants will interact with a seasoned expert on corporate governance who will act as the course mentor. The mentor will not only moderate the course for its entire duration, but also provide feedback and discussion wrap-ups as well as respond to participant queries.

UNITAR online courses create a progressive learning environment in which participants have the flexibility to structure their own learning process and interact with peers and experts through the discussion board facility. UNITAR encourages the participants to network with each other both professionally and amicably, to establish contacts which further promote the dynamic nature of the learning experience.

The online course will be conducted in the English language.
 

  Pedagogy  
 


This course is designed as an online course in which participants will be primarily responsible for their own learning. Each lesson will consist of the following components:

1) Basic Reading Materials (Compulsory Reading Materials): these materials are intended to educate the participants about the basic concepts and principles applicable to the subject-matter of the lesson. It will include, where appropriate, sample materials. These materials will constitute the required reading materials for the lesson

2) Advanced Reading Materials (Optional Reading Materials): this will consist of optional reading materials for participants who wish to learn more about the topic than what is covered in the lesson.

3) External Links: This will refer the interested participants to additional books, articles, documents, and websites that deal with the issues raised in the lesson.

4) Glossary: A glossary of terms tailored to the online course will be provided to the participants and act as a learning support during the entire course.

5) Quizzes: At the end of each lesson there will be a set of quizzes for participants to answer. These quizzes are designed to test the participant's understanding of the lesson. Participants are required to pass each quiz and obtain at least 80% or more passing grade in order to be eligible for a certificate. All quizzes will need to be taken online.

6) Community Discussion Board: There will be a community discussion board available on which participants can post questions or comments that can be seen by the instructor and the other participants. This discussion board will be moderated by the course director and UNITAR. Structured discussion strings will be posted on a weekly basis.

All successful participants will be eligible to a certificate after completion of this online course.

     
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