The Oversight of Public Finances Forum 2019 was held in Miami, USA, from 5-7 March. The St Helena Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was represented at the forum by Vice Chairman Mark Yon and Clerk Anita Legg, Chief Auditor Phil Sharman from External Audit, and Head of Internal Audit Designate Anesu Makamure and Senior Internal Auditor Blessing Gurure.
This was the second forum, hosted by the UK branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA UK), which brought together key participants to explore the issue of public financial oversight under the banner of the UK Overseas Territories (OTs) Project, discuss progress in OTs to date, address some of the common challenges faced by PACs, Internal Audit and External Audit agencies and explore future activities in the next phase of the project to ensure long-lasting impact.
PAC Clerk, Anita Legg, said:
“Participation at the forum was greatly appreciated by the St Helena team and it was a good opportunity to meet and network with counterparts from other OTs. Being able to take part in a mock evidence session was of particular interest to PAC, giving valuable insight into how other OTs operate and towards becoming a more effective PAC.”
Chief Auditor, Phil Sharman, added:
“I was pleased to attend the forum and showcase how this FCO sponsored project has made a significant contribution to the development of audit and parliamentary oversight on St Helena since the launch in 2017. Going forward, a leadership group of the UKOT Auditors General, facilitated by the National Audit Office will give sustainability to the project beyond the 2019/20 extension year.”
Head of Internal Audit Designate, Anesu Makamure, concluded:
“The forum was a good opportunity to assess on what the project has been able to achieve in the two years of existence but also created a good opportunity to prospectively support territories’ strategic intent for the future by signing a new bi-lateral agreement. The formation of an Internal Audit Leadership Focus Group has the potential to greatly assist the territories in ensuring that the Internal Audit functions improve to generally conform when External Quality Assessments are performed.”
Attendance at the forum was funded by the Justice, Security and Governance programme of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’ Conflict Stability & Security Fund.
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26 March 2019