Vice Chairman, Mark Yon, and Clerk, Anita Legg, of the St Helena Public Accounts Committee (PAC) along with Chief Auditor, Phil Sharman, and Anesu Makamure and Blessing Gurure from the Internal Audit Office departed St Helena on Saturday, 2 March 2019, to attend the 'Oversight of Public Finances Forum 2019' in Miami, USA.
The Forum, which will discuss good practice on oversight of public finances, will run from 5-7 March 2019 and will be attended by chairpersons of Public Accounts Committees, parliamentary clerks and heads of Internal and External Audit from Anguilla, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Turks & Caicos Islands, the UK, Virgin Islands (UK) and St Helena.
Nominated by the St Helena PAC Chairman to attend the forum, Vice Chairman Mark Yon, said:
The value of the support the St Helena PAC has received since the inaugural launch in Miami in March 2017 has been excellent and the 2019 Forum will give PACs across the UK Overseas Territories a chance to collaborate and reflect on what has been achieved, to identify where improvements are still needed, and to plan ahead in our efforts to objectively scrutinise wastage and examine how our respective Governments spend public finances. There is an intense programme of work to accomplish at the forum and I look forward to sharing our successes and learning from the achievements of colleagues in the PAC family across the UK Overseas Territories.
This is the second forum bringing together key actors to explore the issue of public financial oversight under the banner of the UK Overseas Territories Project. The project is an initiative delivered in partnership by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK), UK National Audit Office (NAO) and the Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA) along with participating Overseas Territories (OTs).
The Project was launched in 2017 where OTs identified areas where support would be welcome, and activities were tailored to address those areas. These included clerk attachments from the UK devolved legislatures and Crown Dependencies to PACs in the OTs, multilateral training for External Auditors, secondments to the GIAA, and workshops for parliamentarians and officials in the OTs, Westminster, Scotland and Wales.
The Oversight of Public Finances Forum 2019 will explore progress in OTs to date, address some of the common challenges faced by PACs, Internal and External Audit agencies and explore future activities in the next phase of the project to ensure long-lasting impact.
St Helena PAC Chairman, Cyril Gunnell, concluded:
The St Helena PAC has transformed significantly, with its capability steadily increasing. Our Annual Summary Report dated February 2019 is testament to this and it highlights the work that PAC carries out in the development of ensuring openness and transparency in public financial management.
We follow very closely the 'Good practice in effective oversight of public finances in the UK Overseas Territories' guide, launched in February 2017. At the 2019 Forum, the PAC team will present a 'case study' which will be commented on by the other Overseas Territories attending. I have every confidence the St Helena team will do well and look forward to their report when they return.
Source: St Helena Government