Mr. Ezzard Miller, in his capacity as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, left for the UK last weekend to attend the third forum to be organised by a number of UK government agencies in conjunction with participating overseas territories (OTs). The forum will continue the focus on strengthening the oversight of public finances and governance in the OTs.
Mr. Miller will be joining key actors from the UK and the Overseas Territories, who will meet in London next week as part of their commitment to work together to improve the oversight of public finances and governance.
The Oversight of Public Finances and Governance – London Forum 2019 will run from 9-11 December 2019, and will be attended by chairs of Public Accounts Committees (PAC), parliamentary clerks, and heads of Internal and External Audit, from Anguilla, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, St Helena, Turks & Caicos Islands, the UK, and Virgin Islands (UK).
Commenting on the benefits of attending these fora, Mr. Miller, who is the only Cayman Islands representative, said: “The Cayman Island's Public Accounts Committee has already received tremendous benefits from these meetings, which have already resulted in the adoption of international best practices in a number of areas of the PAC’s work.”
The following further information was provided by the organiser of the forum, the head of the UK Overseas Territories Project, Ms. Diana Atungire-Ocaya:
“This is the third Forum bringing together these key actors to explore the issue of public financial oversight and good governance under the banner of the UK Overseas Territories Project. The current phase of the project, due to come to an end in 2020, is an initiative delivered in partnership with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK), UK National Audit Office (NAO) and the Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA), along with participating OTs.
Launched in 2017, the Project partnered with OTs to identify areas where support would be welcome, and to tailor activities to address those areas. Activities included clerk attachments from the UK devolved legislatures and Crown Dependencies to PACs in the OTs; multilateral training for external auditors; secondments to the NAO and GIAA; and workshops for parliamentarians and officials in the OTs, Westminster, Scotland and Wales.
The Oversight of Public Finances and Governance – London Forum 2019 will be a final opportunity to explore progress in OTs to date; to address some of the ongoing challenges faced by PACs, Internal and External Audit agencies; and to identify ways in which the UK and OTs can continue to work together beyond the end of the project to ensure long-lasting impact.
The forum will also be an opportunity for the newly established Internal and External Audit Leadership Groups to meet. This will build on established relationships and encourage continuing development.
Commenting on next week’s forum, the Chair of the UK Overseas Territories Project, the Rt. Hon. Lord Foulkes, stated:
‘I have been delighted to see the positive outcomes from the UK Overseas Territories Project. The OTs have demonstrated a strong commitment to working together to strengthen their public financial oversight and scrutiny functions.
With the latest phase of the project scheduled to come to an end in 2020, the London Forum is an opportunity to cement the learning and good practice that has been developed to ensure that effective public financial oversight continues beyond the life of the project.’