Coffee Break Interview – Attila Bolvári: International cooperation as part of the Knowledge Sharing Program
Clarity: In today’s interview we are talking with Attila Bolvári, who had a special chance for an international cooperation by the South Korean Knowledge Sharing Program.
Clarity: Attila, please tell me more about this cooperation! What exactly does it mean?
Attila: The Hungarian State Treasury, the Hungarian and South Korean Ministries of Finance, and a South Korean research and analysis organization (Korean Development Institute, KDI) participated in the cooperation within the framework of the Knowledge Sharing Program (KSP).
Clarity: When did you get the invitation and how long did the project last?
Attila: According to the methodology of the program, consultants had to be involved in the cooperation. At several points in my consulting career, I participated in projects running at the Hungarian State Treasury as an expert or project manager. At the beginning of the program (November 2019), I was supporting the development of a data warehouse, which was based on the data assets of public finance management, as the project manager of the advisory part. Due to this, I received an honourable invitation from the Hungarian State Treasury in November 2019 to participate in the program as a local consultant. The cooperation lasted until October 2020.
Clarity: In which part of the cooperation were you involved?
Attila: The study focused on three main areas: the system and operation of efficient budget management, the experience of the implementation of the IFMIS (Integrated Financial Management Information System) systems for the two countries, and the comparison of the public finance management solutions and sharing system design recommendations and experiences. I was involved as an external consultant in the latter.
Clarity: What kind of processes and tasks did you have to work on? How did the processes work, did the Hungarian and South Korean team work separately?
Attila: The cooperation had four stages. In November 2019 the Korean delegation came to Hungary where we planned the high-level concept for the content of the study in a kick-off seminar. Subsequently, in January 2020, the Korean delegation visited Hungary again, where we had deeper and expert level presentations and discussions to get to know the two public finance management systems. We also started the development of the study along the defined topics. As a third station, several smaller consultations took place between March and the end of May 2020, and after several rounds of iteration, the final study was completed by the end of May. Finally, we finished our cooperation in October 2020 with a common closing conference.
Clarity: How did the COVID situation effect the project?
Attila: Unfortunately, it had a negative effect on the project. As part of the cooperation, the Hungarian team's visit to Seoul was scheduled for April 2020 in order to gain a deeper understanding of South Korea's public finances, but due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic - it was during this period when South Korea was heavily affected – we had to cancel the visit.
Clarity: When and how did the project end?
Attila: In 2020 October the project ended with an online closing conference where the experts and consultants presented the results of our work of the past months.
Clarity: Where can our readers find this publication?
Attila: The publication was written in English and you can download it from the official site of KSP: https://www.ksp.go.kr/english/pageView/publication-eng/744
The study provides a lot of interesting information about the current public finance management system of the two countries, containing its operation and IT support, so I would recommend to read it for everyone who is interested in this topic.
Clarity: Thank you very much for the conversation and we wish you good luck in the upcoming period! ?