In line with its leading role in managing the financial resources of Abu Dhabi Government, the Department of Finance - Abu Dhabi (DoF) hosted a workshop prior to the preparation of general budget of the emirate's government. The workshop, which took place in Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Abu Dhabi, was attended by more than 300 officials and employees from 90 local government entities. The workshop was organised to bring participants up to speed on a range of key topics related to the preparation of Abu Dhabi Government's general budget 2015. These topics included budget policy and roles, templates and general guidelines of the general budget, the current recurrent budget and the capital project budget, and the SOE's companies budgets. Specialists from the Abu Dhabi Systems '&' Information Centre (ADSIC) also delivered a presentation about the models, foundation and guidelines of e-service initiatives for 2015. Commenting on the workshop, Mohammed Sultan bin Ghanoum Al Hameli, Director General of DoF - Abu Dhabi, said," The Department is committed to performing the role entrusted to it as the financial arm of Abu Dhabi Government. This requires DoF to work closely with various local government entities in order to ensure the implementation of international best practices in the various areas of management of financial and government resources, particularly in developing the general budget." "The meetings and workshops organised by DoF for Abu Dhabi government entities and bodies, reflect the Department's ongoing commitment to further develop the processes and procedures of financial system and the development of the general budget framework and processes. These workshops also provide DoF with a good opportunity to receive feedback and views about financial work and capital project budget among various local government entities. Such meetings also serve to strengthen partnerships and professional work with these entities," Al Hameli added. During the workshop, Hatem Ateeq Al Muherbi, Acting Executive Director of the General Budget Sector in DoF, emphasised the importance of the preparation of Abu Dhabi Government's 2015 general budget, as it is an opportunity to utilise several financial systems and working methods adopted by DoF. It is also an opportunity to enhance joint cooperation with our partners, through various stages of budget preparation, from the initial phases to full implementation. "DoF continuously seeks to provide direct guidance for the development of all procedures used in the preparation of the general budget and to enhance the capabilities of employees in this field. This is reflected in the positive role that the Department is playing in the development process, to achieve the strategic objectives of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and its government entities," he said. Al Muherbi also presented participants with the timeline of the preparation of the 2015 draft general budget of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and explained the various stages. The first stage involves issuing the circular which includes the model, principles and rules of the budget as well as the guidelines, which are sent to all stakeholders and conclude with the final stage of adopting the general budget and issuing a circular for its implementation. Al Muherbi also highlighted the factors to be taken into account when preparing the budget as well as areas to improve their models. The workshop covered the general rules of the preparation of the 2015 general budget of the Emirate, where the foundations and the rationalization of government budget spending as well as estimated expenditures and government revenues were discussed. The workshop also provided a detailed review of the models and guidelines of the current budget, the role of the Hyperion system in the preparation of the general budget, e-service strategic initiatives for the year 2015, as well as the tasks assigned to DoF and ADSIC in this regard. The workshop also included a presentation entitled ?the rules and principles of capital projects for 2015' which explained how to deal with these projects based on their timeframe. As for the government entities and agencies, the workshop covered the mechanisms to deal with their financial needs and funding requests for 2015. Commenting on the workshop for the preparation of the 2015 general budget, Ibrahim Al Zaabi, Director of Financial Affairs Department of Economic Development highlighted that the workshops on preparing budgets are important in the development of the local entities' work and expectations, to achieve their goals, develop their services and extend their customer base. He also explained that all this requires raising awareness levels amongst employees on budget preparation through informing staff members about the latest adopted tools and systems.