The Kiribati National Audit Office in partnership with the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI) delivered a workshop to enhance good governance, transparency and accountability in the island state. The workshop also covered an introduction to the new Audit Bill to strengthen financial oversight and external scrutiny. It was held at the Kiribati Parliament Complex on 7 April 2017 and attended by 38 participants including the President, HisExcellency Taneti Maamau, Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, the Clerk, Attorney-General and the Legal Draftsman.
The Speaker of Parliament, Honorable Tebuai Uaai, in opening the workshop, emphasised the important role legislators play in the scrutiny of the audited reports and financial oversight of the use and management of public resources. He added that as legislators they need auditors to provide them with assurance on the economy and effective use of public resources. Therefore promoting ethical behaviour and good governance starts with supporting the SAI.
The Auditor-General of Kiribati, Mrs Matereta Raiman and PASAI Advocate, Mr Eroni Vatuloka, conducted the workshop. The participants discussed the various clauses of the new Audit Bill especially the creation of an Audit Board and the inclusion of performance and IT audits with the other current functions of the Auditor-General. His Excellency the New Zealand High Commissioner in Kiribati Michael Upton in his closing address, re-assured that while the Audit Board will provide guidance and support to the Auditor-General, the Audit Bill specifically provides that the arrangement will not interfere with the Auditor-General’s independence. Furthermore, His Excellency Taneti Maamau thanked PASAI and the Kiribati National Audit Office for co-ordinating such a useful workshop to raise the capacity of the Members of Parliament on the Audit Bill and understanding the importance of good governance, transparency and accountability in the process of Parliament.
This programme comes under Strategic Priority 2, Advocacy for governance, accountability and transparency of PASAI’s long-term strategic plan. PASAI acknowledges the valued supportfrom the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).