Vatican City, Oct 2, 2014 / 02:04 am .- The Secretariat for the Economy is developing a financial management manual which is to be the basis of budgeting and accounting operations in 2015 for Vatican agencies.
“To support the new budgeting and financial management practices being developed under the supervision of the Council, the Secretariat is preparing a manual of key financial management policies,” read a Sept. 26 internal bulletin from the economy secretariat.
“The manual will help all areas meet the Council’s requirement for compliance with inter-national standards.”
The Secretariat for the Economy, as well as the Council for the Economy, were established Feb. 24 by the motu proprio Fidelis dispensator et prudens.
The council has oversight over the Vatican’s and Holy See’s administrative and financial structures and activities, and is composed of eight cardinals and seven lay financial experts. The secretariat is charged with executing and keeping vigilance over the council’s directives.
In the July 8 motu proprio Confermando una tradizione, Pope Francis transferred the competencies of the ordinary section of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See to the Secretariat for the Economy.
The prefect of the economy secretariat is Cardinal George Pell, an Australian. His office is directed by Danny Casey, his trusted advisor when he was Archbishop of Sydney. Casey’s office assist’s the prefect and oversees the hiring of staff.
The secretariat’s two operative sections are those of control and vigilance, and administration. The section of control and vigilance is headed by Msgr. Alfred Xuereb, formerly Pope Francis’ personal secretary, and is in charge of implementing policies for economic management.
The administrative section is headed by Msgr. Luigi Misto, and is tasked with managing real estate portfolios and implementing procurement systems and people management systems; it is principally composed of the staff of the former ordinary section of APSA.
The financial management manual being drafted “will help all areas meet the Council’s requirement for compliance with inter-national standards,” the secretariat said.
While working on drafting its statutes, the new Vatican financial body thus identifies its tools for financial management.
With the transfer of APSA’s ordinary section to the Secretariat for the Economy, APSA’s remaining extraordinary section will become more akin to a central bank, and will be re-established as a “Central Treasury.”
The Central Treasury will be responsible for maintaining relationships other central banks, in order to – a July 9 Holy See press office bulletin reads – “continue guaranteeing the Holy See’s liquidity and financial stability.”
The offices of the Secretariat for the Economy are currently housed in the Vatican’s St. John Tower, but the dicastery is in the process of relocating “to improve access and communication.”