Finance Clinic for Sub-Projects (Higher Education Quality and Capacity Improvement Project)

By: Mr. Sam Sophorn

On March 26th, 2015, Mr. Sam Sophorn and Ms. Chan Sreyroth attended a one-day financial clinic aimed at identifying key issues in late submission of financial reports by some sub-projects; enhancement of project financial staff in financial report writing; and procedure of project closing. At the start of the session, Mr. Andrew Vickery, International Financial Technical Assistant, highlighted a report by the World Bank mission from February to March 2015, to review sub-project performance (both for Round 1 and Round 2). Their review revealed that even though substantial progress has been made since the last mission, component rating has been downgraded from satisfactory to moderately satisfactory. Overall expenditure of the sub-projects remains relatively low (49%); however, forecast of the expenditure for the remaining sub-project is relatively high. Despite some weaknesses and late reporting, there are many positive points which include sub-projects being completed, and achieving good results; procurement accelerating; and improvements in understanding and following finance procedures.

It is noted that 45 sub-projects were granted a total budget of 3,584,000 USD (3,430,800 USD was allocated by HEQCIP and 146,000 USD was contributed by all participating HEIs) to conduct various research projects. Up to date, 13 sub-projects have been completed, with expenditure of 91% against budget proposal. However, 32 sub-projects are on-going with the majority of them at the extension stage which finish in June 2015.

The rest of the workshop focused on technical aspects of financial reporting which include cash and bank reconciliations; advance register; contract register; preparing financial reports; and the project closing procedure. These topics were presented by key resources persons Mr. Andrew Vickery and Mr. Nuon Sokha.