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CIGAR 2024 Workshop

Digital and smart governance for public sector accounting, auditing, and accountability

12 - 14 June 2024, Udine

Keynote speakers

William C. Rivenbark

Professor of Public Administration and Government, School of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA).

Bill Rivenbark joined the School of Government in 1999. He served as director of the UNC MPA program at the School of Government from 2011 through 2021. His research primarily involves performance and financial management in local government and has appeared in Public Administration ReviewGovernment Finance ReviewJournal of Government Financial ManagementJournal of Public Affairs EducationJournal of Public BudgetingAccounting & Financial ManagementPopular GovernmentPublic Administration QuarterlyPublic Finance ReviewPublic Performance & Management Review, and State and Local Government Review. He also is co-author of Performance Budgeting for State and Local Government (M.E. Sharpe, 2003). Rivenbark helped to develop the County and Municipal Fiscal Analysis tool, a web-based dashboard designed to help North Carolina local governments analyze their fiscal condition.

Previously, he worked for the city of Greenville, South Carolina, in various management positions.

Rivenbark earned a bachelor's degree from Auburn University, an MPA from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Ph.D. from Mississippi State University.


Arman Vatyan

Lead Financial Management Specialist, Governance Focal Point for Central Asia, PEMPAL Program Leader, PULSAR Program Manager, the World Bank.

Arman Vatyan is a certified chartered accountant in the UK and Canada. He is currently the focal point for the World Bank’s governance program in Central Asia where he oversees the implementation of the Bank’s governance work program. He is the program leader for Europe and Central Asia’s (ECA) Public Expenditure and Peer Assisted Learning (PEMPAL) program, and the program manager for Public Sector Accounting and Reporting (PULSAR). He has more than 20 years of experience in leading critical financial management initiatives and reforms, including in public sector and corporate accounting and financial reporting, public internal and external audit, financial management information system (FMIS) and public internal control in more than 25 countries in Europe and Central Asia, Latin America, and Middle East North Africa regions. He represents the World Bank as an observer in the European Commission EPSAS Expert Group. Since 2008 he also leads PEMPAL’s Internal Audit Community of Practice of 23 countries and other successful regional public financial management programs.  Prior joining the World Bank, he worked in a Big 4 audit firm providing corporate governance, strategic planning, Management Information System (MIS), restructuring, acquisition and privatization advice to governments and large public interest entities.

He has more than 20 years of teaching experience as trainer and visiting lecturer at universities, MBA programs and regional programs. He has also organized and been a keynote speaker in more than 50 international and regional conferences. He holds PhD and MS in MIS.


Mario Nobile

General Director, AgID, Agency for Digital Italy.

Appointed in March 2023 to lead AgiD, a special agency of the Presidency of the Italian Council of Ministers, Mario Nobile has held various management positions in the fields of designing and planning IT services, including broadband development programmes. In 2010 he joined the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, where he initially worked on urban redevelopment programmes and housing policies, and then moved on to managing ministerial sites including support technologies and logistics. From November 2015 to March 2023, he was the General Director for digitisation, information and statistical systems at the Ministry.

Parallel to his positions at ministerial level, he has also had academic roles: from 2001 to 2011 he was a lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture of the Alma Mater - University of Bologna and has numerous publications to his credit. He currently lectures in Management of Digital Transformation at the University of Rome UnitelmaSapienza.

Nobile holds a Civil Engineering Master Degree and a PhD in Transport Engineering.


Francesco Raphael Frieri

General Director for Resources, Europe, Innovation and Institutions, Emilia-Romagna Region (Italy).

Francesco Frieri is the Chief Digital Officer of the Emilia-Romagna Region since 2016. He supports the Emilia-Romagna Regional Government in the Italian Conference of Regions and in Brussels. He collaborates with other regional and local authorities, as well as think tanks at ministerial level, on the development of budgeting and performance models for Public Administration. Previously he served as General Director of the Union of Municipalities of the Lower Romagna Area, one of the largest and most articulated associative realities in Italy. Over the early years of his career, he specialized in local finance, working as Deputy Mayor responsible for Budgeting and Citizen Participation for the City of Modena. In the late 2000s, he was the local finance coordinator for the League of Italian Local Governments. 

Frieri lectures at various Italian universities and co-authored a book entitled “Digital Transformation & Smart Working in Public Administration” published in 2021. He has also written numerous articles and essays in specialist outlets and financial newspapers. He is a board member of the Italian National Association of General Public Managers (ANDIGEL). 

Frieri graduated in Political Sciences from the University of Bologna, majoring in administrative sciences, and completed an Executive Master in Business Administration at the Bologna Business School. 


Seminar "Meeting with the editors"

Andreas Bergmann

Professor of Public Finance and Director Public Sector, ZHAW (Switzerland).

Andreas Bergmann is a Full Professor of Public Finance and the Director Public Sector at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences since 2002. He was Chair of the IPSASB from 2010 until 2015, after serving the board as a public member since 2006. Since 2019 he is Chair of the Academic Advisory Group of the IPSASB. He is also member of various expert groups of the OECD, the European Commission, and the Swiss government.

Since January 2017 he has served as a Deputy Editor of Public Money & Management, responsible for the finance stream of this journal. In January 2024 he became Editor-in-Chief, in addition to his topical responsibility.

He holds a diploma from Lancaster University, and a master's degree and a Ph.D. from St. Gallen University.


Denita Cepiku

Associate Professor at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (Italy).

Denita Cepiku teaches Business Administration and Public Management and coordinates the PhD program track in Public Management & Governance. Her main research interests are in the areas of collaborative governance (network management and co-production), social equity and strategic performance management.

She is editor-in-chief of Azienda Pubblica (the Italian public management journal since 1987), member of the editorial committees of Public Management Review, of International Journal of Public Sector Management, of Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, of Revista de Administração Pública and of International Journal on Public Sector Performance Management.

She has authored many articles and “The Co-production of Public Services”, published in 2020 with Palgrave, and the Routledge Handbook of Global Public Policy and Administration in 2017.

She is member of the National Observatory on Public Employment at the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers.


Giuseppe Grossi

Research Professor in Accounting at Nord University (Norway), Kristianstad University (Sweden) and Kozminski University (Poland).

Giuseppe Grossi holds various courses and seminars in Management and Accounting at Bachelor and Doctoral level. His research focuses on governmental accounting and auditing, hybrid organisations, and smart cities.

He is member of the editorial board and guest editor in several public management and accounting journals (as Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Accounting Forum, British Accounting Review, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, and Public Management Review), editor in chief of the Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management, and associate editor of Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management.

Giuseppe Grossi is also Chair of the CIGAR Network. He collaborated as advisor with national and local governments, Supreme Audit Institutions, the European Court of Auditors, International Public Sector Accounting Standard Board (IPSASB) of IFAC and World Bank (WB).


Ileana Steccolini

Professor of Accounting and Public Management at Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna (Italy), Professor of Accounting at Essex Business School (UK).

Ileana Steccolini is also the Director of Research at Essex Business School. She held previous positions at Newcastle University and Bocconi University and was a visiting scholar at the University of Sydney, the University of Edinburgh, RMIT Melbourne, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Getulio Vargas Foundation.

Her expertise develops at the interface among accounting and public administration and management. She has published on public sector accounting, budgeting, performance management and accountability, reform and change processes, governmental financial resilience, inclusion, participation and gender in public services. She is the editor of Financial Accountability and Management and serves/d in the editorial boards of Public Administration Review, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, the Journal of Public Budgeting Accounting and Financial Management, and the Journal of Government and Nonprofit Accounting.

She is the President of the International Research Society of Public Management, the chair and founder of the Public Service Accounting and Accountability Group, the Chair of the EIASM conference on Public Sector Accounting and Accountability, and the Chair of the Standing Scientific Committee of the European Accounting Association.

She is a member of the Italian Public Sector Accounting Standard Board and of the Advisory board of CIPFA International.