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Building Capacity to Effectively Audit the Management of Public Assets

The Auditor-General’s Office of Papua New Guinea (PNG) together with the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI) hosted a workshop in Port Moresby from 21 to 25 November 2016 at the Lamana Hotel. The theme of the workshop, ‘Building Capacity to Effectively Audit the Management of Public Assets’, emphasised that the risks to Pacific Island Countries and Territories governments of poorly managed public assets / resources are significant and material. Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) play an important role to improve the management of public assets resources, which is critical for the ability of governments to deliver key services to its citizens. The PNG Auditor-General Mr Philip Nauga commented that “this workshop is relevant and important for our office because it aligns with the PNG Vision 2050 National Government plan to reduce corruption including the mismanagement and misuse of public assets and resources”. Such comments echo similar concepts from SAIs in the Pacific region.

The workshop covered a range of technical topics from the asset life cycle, the four main stages of asset management decisions, determining the feasibility of a performance audit on this topic, to linking audits to SDGs and National Development plans and strategic audit planning of asset management audits

The knowledge gained by participants from this workshop will help them to plan and carry out an audit on assets management, with value added recommendations to their respective government.

Twenty two representatives from 15 SAIs attended this week-long workshop - Papua New Guinea, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia’s States of Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Yap, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu. For the first time in PASAI programs, a representative from the African Organisation of English-speaking Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI-E) attended and this was possible through PASAI’s Memorandum of Understanding with AFROSAI-E to share resources and knowledge. The regional workshop was developed and delivered by a team of highly experienced PASAI consultants from Kerry McGovern and Associates (Ms Kerry McGovern, Dr Penny Burns and Ms Michelle Maschmedt) all with extensive experience in public sector asset management and working in the Pacific Islands. The workshop was delivered using a blended learning approach which consisted of class room lectures, exercises and two study tours to major infrastructure public assets such as PNG National Airport Corporation and the PNG National Football Stadium. Both these study tours provided a practical implementation of the content taught during each of these days, to enhance their understanding. The feedback from participants was positive and they enjoyed the variety of teaching approaches.

The workshop ended with the presentation of certificates to participants by the PNG Auditor- General together with Mr Dylan Roux, First Secretary, Australian High Commission, Papua New Guinea.

PASAI commended the PNG Office of the Auditor-General for their excellent support and for making this workshop a great success including their world-class hospitality.

PASAI acknowledge the financial support of the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).

Workshop participants

Workshop participants

First Study Tour – National Airport Corporation, Day 2 of the workshop

First Study Tour – National Airport Corporation, Day 2 of the workshop