6 November 2020
- CPA UK hosts virtual Westminster Workshop on Public Financial Oversight from 19 to 23 October
- St Helena PAC and Chief Auditor participates in virtual workshop
- Workshop a success in enabling a stronger PAC going forward
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) UK hosted their virtual Westminster Workshop on Public Financial Oversight from 19 to 23 October 2020 for chairpersons, members and clerks of Public Accounts Committees (PAC) across the Commonwealth. The St Helena PAC, together with the Chief Auditor participated virtually from the Audit Office and the Council Chamber.
Spread over four days and split into two programmes for different regions of the Commonwealth, each programme explored important functions of PACs, including questioning, holding governments to account, and reports and recommendations.
Chief Executive of CPA UK, Jon Davies, said:
“The emergency spending of governments during the coronavirus pandemic has made building and maintaining effective Public Accounts Committees more important than ever. The pandemic has also shown how virtual working can help PACs and their Parliaments carry out their roles more effectively, right across the Commonwealth.”
The online Workshop, one of the first large virtual workshops run by CPA UK, used a combination of videos, live polls, question and answer sessions and breakout groups to create an interactive experience for delegates. Sessions examined what makes an effective Public Accounts Committee, with keynote addresses from Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the UK PAC, and Gareth Davies, Auditor General and Comptroller of the UK National Audit Office. Other sessions included: how governments can be held to account by the work of PACs; how to maintain scrutiny whilst working virtually with advice from the International Monetary Fund (IMF); and how to incorporate Sustainable Development Goals into the work of PACs with a presentation from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Reflecting on the workshop, St Helena PAC Chairman, Cyril Gunnell, said:
“The workshop was a success, comparing strengths and weaknesses and enabling a stronger PAC going forward.”
The St Helena PAC would like to express grateful thanks to the CPA UK Team, St Helena Audit and the SHG IT Section for their ongoing support.
In total over 120 delegates from the Caribbean, Asia, the Pacific, Africa and Europe attended the Workshop. CPA UK, as secretariat for the Commonwealth Association of Public Accounts Committees (CAPAC), will continue to develop networks across all regions of the Commonwealth, giving delegates the opportunity to share learnings, challenges and best practices on developing effective Public Accounts Committees.
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6 November 2020