The Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions completed its first pilot of conducting a cooperative financial audit for the region and selected the topic of foreign aid projects.
Six SAIs from Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga, Tuvalu and Samoa participated with the support of INTOSAI Development Initiative. This pilot program resulted in multiple observations and lessons learned, which forms the basis of a regional report. The report also includes practical advice to assist SAIs in the conduct of financial audits of foreign aid projects in the future. It is expected that both SAIs and development partners in the Pacific region may learn valuable lessons from individual SAI reports as well as from a regional report to improve and enhance the quality of the audits of funds provided by foreign aid.
The current PASAI chairman, Iso Ihlen Joseph, the public auditor of the Federated States of Micronesia State of Pohnpei office, summed up the importance of this topic: “With a worldwide focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, there is an ever-increasing quantity of aid flowing into developing countries relating to SDGs. This requires governments to be even more responsible for the transparent and accountable use of funds provided by foreign aid, whether it is for SDG implementation or government projects. In the Pacific this can be even more challenging and highlights the need for a strong country financial system to manage these aid funds honestly and fairly, to ensure they are meeting the needs of the targeted government projects.”
The official launch of the PASAI regional report was held in Auckland, New Zealand, at the Grand Millennium Hotel on Feb. 23, 2017, during PASAI’s 16th governing board meeting, which was attended by the governing board members, PASAI’s INTOSAI representative, and development partners from Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the World Bank, and Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. All delegates were presented with a copy of the report and it will also be published on PASAI’s website, www.pasai.org.
PASAI promotes transparent, accountable, effective, and efficient use of public sector resources in the Pacific. It contributes to helping its member SAIs improve the quality of public sector auditing in the Pacific to uniformly high standards and assists governments to develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels which aligns with Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
PASAI acknowledges the financial support of the Australian government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the collaborative ongoing joint regional partnership with IDI. (PASAI)