METAC’s resources are available for diagnostic work to identify and design measures needed to strengthen specific aspects of economic and financial governance; preparing detailed implementation plans based on the diagnostic work conducted by TA departments at IMF Headquarters; reviewing proposals or assessments by governments and other donors for consistency with internationally agreed standards, and coordinating activities with other TA providers; providing policy and technical advice either by the Center’s own advisers or by consultants hired by METAC; and organizing training courses, seminars, workshops and dissemination of best practices.

Banking Supervision

METAC has provided technical assistance in developing prudential regulations, call reports and new financial statements. METAC assisted in developing skills and building up the capacity of the banking supervision staff by providing training courses in accounting standards and banks’ operations. METAC is the sole technical assistance provider in banking supervision to the Central Bank of Syria (CBS).

Public Financial Management

The Syrian authorities intend to develop a strategy for public financial management reform building upon the advice provided by a joint IMF headquarters/World Bank mission in January 2006 (in which METAC participated). METAC has worked with IMF headquarters in supporting the authorities to revise the Basic Finance Law in order to integrate capital and current expenditures at the level of the Ministry of Finance. The implementation of the reform is now heavily supported by METAC. The EC has also a large project in Syria which focuses partly on expenditures management (budget classification). METAC is cooperating closely with other TA providers and in particular the EC.

Revenue Administration

METAC followed-up on the implementation of tax administration reforms recommended during an IMF headquarters technical assistance mission in 2005. METAC has participated in the donor coordination meetings organized by the Ministry of Finance. It also reviewed the implementation of the reforms, including preparations for a Large Taxpayer Office (LTO) in coordination with the EU technical assistance team. An IMF headquarters tax administration mission is planned to follow-up on the implementation of reforms and advise on VAT preparations.

Multisector Statistics

METAC has provided sizeable assistance in national accounts and price indices to the Central Bureau of Statistics. METAC provides currently technical assistance to the Central Bank of Syria in key areas to facilitate improvements in the coverage and classification of the balance of payments statistics and to assist in the initiation of the compilation of international investment position statistics.

Central Bank Accounting (Ceased in October 2009)

A continuous reform process in the Accounting and Internal Audit functions in the Central Bank of Syria was monitored and assisted by METAC. Reforms implemented include consolidation of all branch accounting with the main general ledger, restructuring of the accounting department, functions and responsibilities, reconciliation of all outstanding items and balances. METAC also assisted with the re-organization of the Internal Audit Department, the development of a new audit charter and the development of audit program based on risk.