Public Finance Management project closing

May 27, 2022

Lord Speaker Faka-fa-nua of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga

The Head of the Solomon Islands Office of the Auditor General, David Dennis 

Representatives of Parliaments and Heads Supreme Audit Institutions from across the Pacific

The Representative of the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions, Esther Lameko-Poutoa

The Executive Director of the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, Emeline Siale Ilo-la-hia

Members of civil society organizations, community representatives from Fiji and across the Pacific

Colleagues and friends,

Bula vinaka, malo’e lelei, talofa lava, good afternoon and a warm welcome to you all.

It is a pleasure to welcome you back to the second regional session of the Public Finance Management project closing event, with thanks to the European Union for their generous support.

Yesterday, we celebrated the many successes and achievements of the civil society partners who worked tirelessly for the past three years. We heard community representatives from Tuvalu describe how more advocacy is needed for recommendations from the Auditor General and the Parliamentary Accounts Committee to be followed-up on. 

We heard from the Solomon Islands umbrella CSO, on how they made a submission to the 2022 Appropriation Bill. We heard how women and vulnerable groups informed the budget process in Kiribati, Vanuatu and Fiji. Importantly, we heard from all these countries, and especially from Tonga, how civil society engagement during times of crises, may it be a volcanic eruption, a cyclone or a global pandemic, can guide public spending towards the most vulnerable communities and inclusive recovery.

Today, it is my honor to open another session reflecting on the work done since 2019. This session focuses on three tenants of effective oversight of public finance: independence, safeguards and trust. To introduce these topics and much more, I am deeply honored to invite Lord Speaker Faka-fa-nua from the Parliament of Tonga to provide opening remarks. 

Lord Speaker Fakafanua was first elected to parliament in 2008 before being elected Speaker of Parliament in 2012. Over his years of experience, he has acquired a deep understanding of institutional processes and the central importance of oversight and accountability. He has also constantly sought to involve those who were impacted by the reforms at the center of the processes and reflected on transparency and outreach. For these reasons and many more, we are grateful for his guidance on today’s topics and discussions.

I wish you all a very successful session. Malo.