Cyprus and Greece signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday to train civil servants, as Athens was praised for being a reformist government from which Nicosia can learn.

Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides and Greek Interior Minister Makis Voridis attended the signing ceremony, with the former saying that there is a wide field for cooperation between the two nations, which will see the certification of Cyprus internal auditors.

Praising Greece as a reformist nation which has made great progress in overhauling the civil service, Petrides said that Cyprus is also progressing with such changes.

“We therefore view the exchange of expertise between the two nations as very important,” Petrides said, adding that they plan on swapping civil servants for training exercises.

The deal between the national centre for public administration and local government and the Cyprus academy of public administration was signed in Nicosia.

Vorides said that one of the greatest policy challenges for governments is public administration, particularly in light of the digital revolution and subsequent reforms.

“Civil servants must also be trained, educated and prepared to meet the requirements of this digital revolution, the digital transformations which are taking place across the whole world,” the Greek official said.

He also stressed the importance of internal auditors in stamping out corruption at the preventative stages rather than waiting for the problem to occur.

According to the European Commission’s website, effective digital public services, or eGovernment, can provide a wide variety of benefits. These include more efficiency and savings for governments and businesses, increased transparency, and greater participation of citizens in political life.

“ICT is already widely used by government bodies, but eGovernment involves more than just the tools: it involves rethinking organisations and processes, and changing behaviour so that public services are delivered more efficiently to people,” the commission states.