Fortifying accountable public finance management: Public auditors refreshed their expertise
September 12, 2023
Suva, Fiji – The Vaka Pasifika project, funded by the European Union (EU), has marked a significant milestone in advancing public finance oversight and accountability in the Pacific region. The Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) across the Pacific Island countries (PICs) upgraded their expertise to strengthen their crucial role in ensuring accountable public finance systems.
Around 50 public auditors participated in the webinar training on public finance, which took place on 6 - 7 September. This initiative is part of the Vaka Pasifika project, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji, with 6 million Euros in funding from the EU.
This training course aimed to provide staff of SAIs with a refresher knowledge on the core elements of public finance management (PFM) and the role of SAIs. The course intended to boost their confidence when engaging with various stakeholders and discussing public finance. The training covered a spectrum of key topics, including PFM principles, legislative frameworks, fiscal policies, and roles of oversight institutions.
The training went beyond theoretical learning, incorporating practical exercises that empowered participants to engage in discussions about various facets of public finance. For both seasoned auditors and those new to the realm of PFM, the program offered a unique opportunity to enhance their skills, identify areas of concern, and contribute to improved financial accountability and efficiency within government entities.
The training received enthusiastic participation from SAIs, a crucial pillar of accountability in PFM. With a strong emphasis on core concepts, relevant legal and policy frameworks, participants gained confidence in discussing various aspects of public finance.
Mr. Raymond Saipaia, Audit Supervisor - Financial and Compliance Audit Division, Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) of the Republic of the Marshall Islands said, "As a participant of the PFM Pacific Introductory Training, I am inspired by the collaborative environment that this training has provided. The insights gained will empower us as auditors to contribute effectively to discussions on public finance matters, ensuring accountability, transparency, and responsible public financial management."
Ms. Carmen Lloveres, EU Representative said in her opening remarks, "Accountability and oversight of the public money is at the base of the democratic governance. Effective oversight of public finances is paramount for sustainable development and accountable governance. The European Union is committed to supporting initiatives aimed at strengthening the capacity of oversight institutions. We believe that this training, under the Vaka Pasifika project, will contribute significantly to better public finance management, oversight and transparency in the Pacific.”
The training, organized by UNDP, combined knowledge-building sessions and interactive discussions about engagement of SAI with diverse stakeholders, including civil society, and media. This approach resonates with UNDP's commitment to nurturing inclusive and transparent governance frameworks.
Mr. Rustam Pulatov, Team Leader for Inclusive Growth and Effective Governance, the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji said, "The success of this training underscores the power of collaborative efforts in promoting effective oversight. By equipping participants with comprehensive knowledge, we are fostering a community of professionals who can drive impactful change in the public finance landscape."
The training's success sets the stage for future initiatives under the Vaka Pasifika project, emphasizing the significance of continued collaboration among stakeholders for a more accountable and transparent financial landscape in the Pacific region.
For more information, please contact:
Anhela Bochi, PFM Technical Specialist, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org